Baby 3: 27 Weeks

How far along: 27 weeks and officially now in the third trimester

Sex of Baby W: Male

Weight gain: I have gained a couple more pounds. I have been doing well with my workouts. Out of the three pregnancies, I definitely feel the strongest with this one.

Size of Baby W: My app says that he is the size of a camping lantern which seems debatable. How about a bunch of bananas or a cauliflower blossom?

Maternity clothes: Maternity clothes are the best and why don’t we make all pants with elastic high waist bands and shirts that go long?

Baby items: I have been getting a few items off Facebook Marketplace. There are only a couple things we still need to be fully ready for little man. It’s hard to believe he will be here in only couple months! Yikes! While we don’t have to get much more, we do need to organize his room. We decided this last month to put Daph and George in the same room. I will be sure to share about that transition.

Stretch marks: Nothing new on the stretch marks, but you can see all kinds of veins.

Belly button in or out:  It is flattening out. I’ve never had mine pop completely out, so it will be interesting if over the next 10 weeks this one does or not.

Sleep: Sleep is still not the greatest, but I am making it work.

Best moment the past few weeks: Today I got to celebrate my best friend and her first baby. It was so great to shower her as a new parent-to-be. And our little boys are going to be great friends! It’s been so fun doing this pregnancy together!

Worst moment the past few weeks: School started in the last couple weeks. Everything about it was weird and taxing. We have been asked to do the impossible in higher ed. Teaching a freshmen seminar class is really challenging right now, and I have a lot of anxiety that I am not doing the class justice. So there were a little more bumps in the road to start this year.

Miss anything: being able to sleep on my back.

Cravings/Aversions: I haven’t really had any cravings over the past couple weeks. Just when I want to eat, I need to eat soon. I still am not a fan of broccoli or chicken quesadillas but that seems to be the only thing that I am avoiding.

Movement: I feel him every day now, but mostly at night. George has felt him, and he thinks it is so cool. Daphne doesn’t think

Symptoms/how I am feeling: I have been feeling really good lately. I do feel really bloated most afternoons/evenings. I am having to go to the bathroom all the time. But doing pretty good in general. I love this stage of pregnancy though where my belly is big enough to rest my arms on, and I am pretty much rubbing it all the time.

Looking forward to: Getting more settled into our school routine. George has been doing great with kindergarten. We have some other things happening around here that will change our schedule too, so more to come on that.

You can read about George at 27 weeks here and Daphne here.

George Turns SIX

Every year I have this avoidance to George turning another year older. I mean didn’t we just celebrate one? I ask myself how can this be?

But here we are, six years old.

Not that I am a seasoned parent or by any means an expert at anything with motherhood, however George has taught me a lot by making me a mom.

In honor of his sixth birthday today, here are six things that I have learned from my first born.

  • Imagination is not to be fooled with.

This kid comes up with the most creative creations. He is really good at coming up with storylines and rethinking how to use things. His room is a total mess, which is something I have to let go of because he had dreamed up that he built a fort, a railway, or channels for a boat system. Things are not always what they seem. He has taught me so much about looking beyond the confines of normalcy and not sticking within the lines. I need to be able to let him loose with his ideas and hold on to his plans for creations because that will serve him well later on in life.

  • There is always reason to celebrate.

George is always ready to party. He loves ALL holidays and relishes in decorating our house with all the things. He is always asking what the next holiday is, and you can see his eyes just gleam from the excitement. He also is just so excited about the little things. He loves to create opportunities to rejoice in the day to day things. And he is so appreciative of the celebrations. “Treat yo’ self” is his mantra. And celebrations always bring on sugary treats, which are always necessary!

  • A hug is always a good remedy.

If anyone knows me well, they know that I am not a hugger. These are reserved for very few folks in my life, and I will not usually volunteer to do them. However, this kid has melted me down. He is the best hugger ever. And touch has got to be one of his love languages, because he gives about a million hugs a day. In our embraces we have so many meaningful moments. Sometimes they are breakthroughs from arguments and power struggles. Sometimes they are to comfort us when we are sad to just let someone know we are there. Sometimes they are just to remind each other of our immense love for one another. It is hard to not feel some goodness when you have your arms wrapped around someone else. They have definitely been mood stabilizers for us over the last six years. Hugs are George’s love currency.

  • Plans are not always what they are cracked up to be.

George has been “lovingly” reminding us lately that “sometimes plans change, and that’s ok.” This is honestly one of the biggest lessons for me as someone who loves to have a plan and a list at hand. Plans are my way to control things. If there is anything about parenthood that is constant is that plans are going to change. Literally from the moment George was conceived, things are not as I planned them. I didn’t imagine finding out that I was pregnant at a fertility specialist. I didn’t plan on delivering my baby 3 weeks early and having to deal with the NICU. I didn’t plan on littering my house with Legos. But things happen, and that’s ok. I have had to learn a lot about acceptance and letting things be as they may instead of trying to predict and control it all. George is also not a kid who is easily controlled for he often has plans of his own that do not align with mine…

  • Patience

And that leads us to patience. What parent doesn’t say that they have learned patience with parenting? Or better yet, it has showed me how impatient I really am. Along the same lines as the plans, I have to remember that I cannot make George make the decisions that I want him to. He is becoming his own person. And with that he has to make mistakes and make messes of things so he can learn for the next time. It’s these moments that it could be so easy for me to just swoop in and make things happen or to banish him to his room because I just can’t take it anymore. I have to give him opportunities to make his own decisions even if they aren’t the ones that I think are best. It’s the only way he will learn how to work with others, do chores, or clean up his own mistakes. I cannot be a fixer all the time or just yell at him for not putting away his clothes for the millionth time. Patience and prayer my friends.

  • I have learned the most about love.

I thought I knew a lot about what love should be and could be. But until I had George, I never really knew the magnitude of what love could do to you as a being. I mean I love Tom, but there is something about a kid that changes every piece of who you are. There is more love than I could ever imagine. And a lot of that is because of who George is. He loves so immensely and with his whole little body that it is hard not to want to experience that with him. He has taught me that true love means forgiveness and letting things go. He has taught me that true love sometimes also means tough love and not letting you off the hook when you are wrong. He taught me that I don’t have to be perfect to be loved so fully. He has taught me so much about filling other people’s cups and being thoughtful with my interactions. He has taught me that love is a safe place to snuggle into at the end of the day. George is love through and through. And being loved by him is nothing short of magical.

Y’all this boy is everything that I never knew I needed. He is funny, smart, witty, and just a delight to be around. He is a ray of sunshine that just loves everyone around him so fully. He is confident and unapologetically himself ALL THE TIME. I love how he brings out the goofy in all of us, and the energy he exudes helps you to feel freedom when you are with him.

Although some day I do hope that he stops wearing his clothes inside out and backwards…Just saying.

Yesterday I asked him what he wanted to do on his last day as a five year old. He told me that there wasn’t anything left to do and that he was ready to be six. I responded with asking what he was excited about with being six, and he told me he was ready to go to school. So we have a big year ahead of us with Kindergarten on the horizon, and then becoming a big brother again to our newest little dude. I can’t wait to see what shenanigans he gets us into this year.

Happy Birthday Georgie Man. We love you big kid!

Baby 3: 24 Weeks

This seems like a really boring update, but it is exciting to keep moving along nonetheless.

How far along: 24 weeks

Sex of Baby W: Baby W is still a boy.

Weight gain: I have gained a couple more pounds.

Size of Baby W: my app says that he is the size of a GI Joe.

Maternity clothes: I am in anything maternity or fully stretchy. I am going back to work this week so I will have to start wearing actual outfits. That will be interesting since I haven’t seen these people for 5 months.

Baby items: I did reorganize Daphne’s closet to start making room for little man. I need everyone’s secrets on room sharing!

Stretch marks: Nothing new.

Belly button in or out:  It is starting to flatten out, but it is still in.

Sleep: I keep hoping for better sleep. There is just no way to get comfortable. I hate sleeping on my left side, and I wake up so stiff and in pain every morning. However, I must be asleep enough because I do not hear or feel Daphne crawling in our bed every night.

Best moment the past few weeks: It was just today, but George’s birthday party was so much fun. Hopefully I will have a post soon to recap.

Worst moment the past few weeks: We had my grandpa’s memorial service recently. It was just really sad and weird to not actually be able to be with family in a normal way.

Miss anything: I have been wanting a cold cut sandwich. AND ALL THE HOTDOGS.

Cravings/Aversions: I have been wanting sweets. My aversions have been grilled chicken and broccoli.

Movement: Little baby guy is moving a lot more that I can actually feel. I feel him almost every day now. It seems that he really loves my daily smoothies because I feel him the most after I drink those at night.

Symptoms/how I am feeling: I have been having morning sickness a little bit lately. I also feel bloated all the time. My face and lips have been so dry. I feel like I am putting chapstick on every five minutes. And my face feels like it does in the winter, and I have dry patches all over my face.

Looking forward to: The next few weeks are big for George-he turns six this week. Then he starts kindergarten the first week of September. How that is possible, I have no idea. But we are excited for this next phase! We also started a renovation to build on a sun room. I am so excited for all the plant possibilities with all the new windows!

You can read about George at 24 weeks here and Daphne here.

Baby 3: 21 Weeks

How far along: 21 weeks

Sex of Baby W: It was confirmed at my appointment yesterday that he is still a boy. We have a first name picked out, but the baby may come out before we can decide on a middle name.

Weight gain: I am finally turning the tide of gaining weight. I have made up for the weight I have lost so far and am now up 2 pounds.

Size of Baby W: a baseball cap

Maternity clothes: I fully have a bump, but I only wear maternity clothes when I have to leave the house for appointments. Otherwise I have fully embraced the legging lifestyle while staying at home. Which is probably best because I gave away all my maternity clothes so I am going as long as I can in my active wear.

Baby items: We are going through the stuff that we still have to see what is still needed since we gave so much away after Daphne. The clothes we kept are completely off season since Daph and George were summer babies, so there are some gaps in what he may need in the first year. I did buy some newborn clothes because I couldn’t help myself.

Stretch marks: I have a few on my hips, but I don’t think those had gone away from the last pregnancy.

Belly button in or out:  It is starting to flatten out, but it is still in.

Sleep: Sleep is not great. I fall asleep fine, but it’s like I am in that light sleep all night. My back is always so stiff in the morning from laying in one position. But then I can have a great nap on the couch or in Daphne’s toddler bed.

Best moment the past few weeks: Seeing the baby during the 20 week ultrasound yesterday. It was great to see his little profile and seeing him wiggling around in there. Everything is looking good and measuring perfectly.

Worst moment the past few weeks: Our life is pretty boring, so there isn’t anything too dramatic. Work has been crazy and unpredictable so I could do without the long extra hours that are happening right now.

Miss anything: I really want sushi and coffee.

Cravings: I wanted cosmic brownies and chocolate milk this week. Other than that, I am just craving things I can’t have. I am having only one aversion now, and that is to grilled chicken.

Movement: Little baby is moving more and more now. Tom actually got to feel a kick this week. George said that he could hear him through my belly tonight but it was just my food digesting.

Symptoms/how I am feeling: I am doing fairly well symptoms wise. I have the energy to be able to workout again, and that is so helpful for my mental state. I still get tired easily. I am having round ligament pain in the mornings, which I don’t feel like I had with the others. When I get up I feel like I can’t fully stand up because I can’t fully stretch out my midsection. It makes sense though since this is the third kid; my ligaments just don’t want to stretch any further.

Looking forward to: George’s birthday celebrations are this month! He picked a Christmas theme, and I am looking forward to celebrating with my holiday loving 6 year old.

You can read about George at 21 weeks here and Daphne here.

Building With Trash

Have you ever seen Toy Story 4? George is Bonnie. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard at Forky explaining what being trash meant to him, because I could see George having the same monologue. He loves taking our trash and re-purposing it. A week doesn’t go by that he isn’t digging into our cardboard pile or looking for discarded packaging to create some scene he has concocted in his mind.

And he has some grand ideas. Earlier this year, I was sure we were going to live with a cardboard house in our living room for all of time. This thing had a smoke stack, and he had even made furniture for the inside. He wanted to eat all his meals in there; he watched TV in there. He just loves to re-imagine things, and he has a way of looking at things with a whole new appreciation.

So when he came to us this weekend saying he wanted to make an arcade in his room, Tom jumped on board. I clearly had already put all the cardboard in our recycling pile. You can see who is the fun parent here…

Tom’s brain is the same as George with just a little more experience. So it is like they are speaking the same language, and Tom is able to make all of George’s recycling dreams come true.

But I have to say this pinball machine definitely takes the cake.

Who knows how long this thing will actually last, but it makes him so ridiculously happy. He has even created a ticket system for his “arcade.” And while he does love a good TV binge and playing games on our phones, it is refreshing that he wants to use his time this way instead.

With what he comes up with, I could see George being an engineer, designer, or architect someday. I have to remind myself that it is only cardboard, and eventually it will make its way to the trash. But in this moment, this all is so much more to the kids.

Sometimes it is hard for me to let go of the pieces that want the order and less chaos of toys and “trash” strewn every where. However, when I break it down, these are the moments that build him into who he will be someday. By letting him create and dream up these things, we are showing him what his brain is capable of. And by helping him build out what is in his head, we are showing our support and belief in his dreams. It’s helping him problem solve and pushes him to be creative with his solutions. When I start to think about what is happening here, the trash problem seems so insignificant. For every mess I see, George has a whole backstory and reason for it being the way that it is. And as wild and crazy as they seem, when he tells the story, they are always unique and purposeful. I want him to know that his ideas are valued and encourage that creativity.

So sometimes we build really crazy things and let the fun flow from it. And sometimes the inventions do not work, but this shows him to take another look and try again.

Do I let him take all the trash to build something? No I do not. More often than not, George hears that taking that piece of trash is not realistic today. Literally in the middle of writing this post I had to go break the kids up because they were arguing over the best place to put the “pull-up” maze. Yes they had taken all of George’s pull-ups and thrown them around their rooms to create a maze obstacle course…Not ideal.

However, sometimes I need to let loose and let an arcade machine come to life.

These are the moments I hope my kids remember. George with his idea. Tom with his building magic. Gammy helping George “paint” the theme. And Daphne and I digging through my car to find dinosaurs as props. It’s here that some of the real magic of parenting happens.

And I have to admit that without Tom these moments are not possible. I am just not that kind of mom…but that is a post for another day.

I just have to remember that I may not always see the end result, but having faith in my people and supporting their dreams are sometimes our best moments together.