Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Baby Girl: The Final Days on the Inside :)

As I type this, my floors desperately need to be cleaned, laundry baskets are piled up in need of folding, there are soggy swimming shorts drying on the patio and my boys are in a deep sleep after a long, full day.

But somehow, I know we're ready. This 'readiness' has taken on a much different form than it did the first and second time around. My freezer meal stockpile isn't nearly what I would like it to be, my house is never truly clean and baby girl doesn't have an elaborate nursery ready and waiting for her. (She actually doesn't even have a room yet, just a little space in the corner of our room where she will be for the forseeable future
And that's all ok. 
Because she will be more loved than she can ever imagine. Avery and Cullen are so SO excited to meet her and all that new-mom anxiety is all but gone completely the third time around, leaving me with a certain sense of peace as I think about heading into labor/delivery. 

I also have little to no anxiety about how the boys will deal with me going into labor (like I did when I was pregnant with Cullen) With Avery being older, I can explain the situation to him and he understands and as long as Cullen is with Avery, he will be A-Ok. 

I haven't posted much about my pregnancy this time around. Not because I haven't been documenting, but because taking time to sit down and write it out in this blog hasn't been high on my priority list. 

This has been my most difficult pregnancy. Not terrible by any means, but definitely harder. I've been pretty exhausted and with Avery not napping anymore, I haven't had a consistent downtime for myself everyday like I had with each of the boys. Also, my boys rarely stop moving. Like ever. I think that's been the hardest part for me, not being able to keep up with them like I'd like to. I thank God they have each other to wrestle and run with when all I want to do is put my feet up for 15 minutes. I must be getting old! 

Avery is SO ready to meet baby sister. He asks lots of questions and comes up with all kinds of ideas of things that we should do when baby sister arrives. I have no doubt he will be every bit of the amazing big brother he naturally was when we brought Cullen home, and then some. He's been very excited to take all my belly pictures for me during Cullen's naptime, it's been a fun time for us and he's an amazing little budding photographer!

He made up his own joke that he thinks is hilarious:
"Mom, I know what we can name baby sister!"
"Really? What should we name her?!"

"Yeah, Maybe Baby!"
I laughed SO hard at this because it was the first deliberate joke he's made and he was so proud of himself. He is such a ham!

Cullen is more needy than he's ever been. He doesn't want anyone else to change his diaper and still insists on being rocked before bed by nobody else but me. (even though getting comfy on my gigantic belly is a big challenge for him -and me-, I'm still his only choice)  And I must rub his neck... While humming... And rub his back when I place him in his crib... And blow him a kiss before I close the door. He's very particular about things he must do himself and things he still wants done for him. For reasons like this, I am a bit concerned about the logistics of having 3 and being outnumbered, especially in the beginning.  I fear Cullen isn't going to be as willing to share my attention as Avery was. He's got a strong personality and isn't much for listening to logic at his current stage :)  It does make me feel better that Cullen and Avery have each other and play so well together. They are such good little buddies, I know their bond will only become stronger after baby sister comes home.

The boys and I had a little photo shoot one afternoon during/after rest time. I love, love, LOVE our unstructured time together, these days are going by much too fast for my liking.

Cullen had just woken up from his nap when we pulled him in for a few shots
(he wasn't quite awake, but very cuddly)

Oh, and I have to share the one thing I have made in preparation for baby girl - her quilt!

I've been dilated to 3 cm for over 2 weeks now, with no 'real' contractions (although I've had Braxton Hicks for months). With 2 days until her official due date, I am walking loops around the neighborhood and bouncing around the house trying to coax this baby out. We're ready whenever you are, baby girl!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Avery is FOUR!

Avery turning 4 is sort of surreal for me.
I think it probably has a lot to do with the fact that I'm sitting here waiting on baby sister to arrive exactly 4 years after I was waiting on this little boy to join us and make us a family. My first baby. The one that would totally turn our lives upside down and make life so much more full and happy (and, on occasion, more frustrating too). 

Avery is such a joy in our days. I can't even believe how fast he is growing and learning, it's hard for me to keep up. He continues to have the most creative and active imagination ever. He loves nature and learning about everything around him. He asks so many good questions, I love watching his wheels turn and am amazed at all the information he can retain.
In the last year, Avery has matured so much. His speech has gotten so clear and he's come out of his shell quite a bit. He's still a pretty quiet, laid-back dude around others but has really come a long way. He's also learned what to say and do to push our buttons, how to whine, how to instigate and pick on his brother and how to use his newfound independence and stubbornness to drive his mother to the brink of insanity ;)

Some things I don't want to forget about Avery as he turns 4:

Avery LOVES:

Singing. His favorite songs are "Bear Necessitiesand  "I Just Can't Wait to be King"

Playing bear, deer hunter, and bad otter (based on the 'bad otter' in the movie Zootopia... it had quite the effect on him)

Bird watching

Talking about poop

Writing his name (mom, dad and Cullen too)  and drawing big bucks and funny monsters

Wild Kratts

Firefly/butterfly/frog catching

Teaching Cullen everything he knows... the good and the bad ("I taught Cullen that!")

Making up games for he and Cullen to play together

Playing with dad - he is OBSESSED with Justin, his daddy is truly his hero  

Riding his scooter like a champ. He's also getting more confident on his big bike

Dancing - So You Think You Can Dance is BACK! 

Jumping on the trampoline. He is very adamant about not jumping unless the net is securely zipped (after a little rolling-out episode, he learns quickly!)

Going on adventures in the woods

Wearing sunglasses and his favorite outfit - Black sport pants and a neon green long-sleeve shirt

Trucks, tractors and heavy equipment

Since about 6 months ago, Avery sneaks into our bed every night (we have nicknamed him our 'bedbug' because he's so sneaky) and I've adjusted to sleeping with my back to him to protect my belly from his twitchy kicking legs. In turn, he's adjusted to sleeping attached to me with his head between my shoulder blades. Somehow I've gotten used to this... although it could get interesting when baby sister takes up residence in our room very soon. 

(Baier is a friend of the family and Avery's babysitter - he LOVES her and her sister, Ellis.)

In the fall, Avery is signed up to go to preschool 3 mornings a week and he's pretty excited about it. I'm excited to see him interacting with some new little friends and to see how he grows in a new environmentUntil then, I'm excited to see him take on the 'big brother' role for a second time. He's so excited to meet baby sister!!  Oh, how I love this little boy of mine... to the moon and back.