Friday, August 29, 2008

I guess I have to believe it...

Some days, well most days, I still have a hard time believing I am pregnant. Since I planned and anticpated my other pregnancies for months ahead of time, I was ready for every milestone, every moment of early pregnancy. I probably bordered a bit on obsession!

Miss Rose was my first pregnancy, one I had waited for my entire life. I was so thrilled to be pregnant. I worked only part-time and was also getting my master's degree. I had plenty of time and energy to focus on my pregnancy and my changing body.

By the time I got pregnant with Gracie, I was very excited to be having another baby, to not just be a mom of one, but of two. Miss Rose was 2.5 by then and not so much of a "baby."

This pregnancy came as such a surprise...although a wanted one. First I waited over a week to even take a test. Then I find out I'm even 4 more weeks along. It was just shock after shock!

I'm sure the busyness of my life plays a big role. I don't have much time to dwell on my pregnancy between working almost full time, still having a baby and the variety of other things in life. I'll be walking along and all of the sudden think--I have a baby, a real life baby growing in me.

My body is making it quite clear that I am pregnant and that I'm truly further along. This week my belly really has started to pop out. All of the sudden some of my clothes don't fit at all or they are getting tight in the waist. I am 15 weeks now with my third child, so it is par for the course. Somehow a 3-pound weight gain on the scale feels like a 10-pound gain in my clothes!

I am anticipating the next few weeks when I'll begin to feel the baby daily. Sometimes I think I am feeling some early flutters--when I am still and relaxed and not paying attention to anything else. I know that it will increase.

So I am embracing the reality of this pregnancy. I truly am thrilled and can't wait to hold the little one and even to nurse again. I can't wait to see God's plan unfold for this little one he has given us.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why My Husband is so Great

Bean has been bugging me for this blog for a few months now. It's coming babe...I promise. Just not tonight.

The end of education TV??

Don't worry...I'm not announcing the end of it all together. I know many moms rely on educational TV to stimulate their little one's brain, while providing a bit of respite for mom.

Bean does little for himself--but one of his few indulgences is digital cable (he's a sports fanatic ) and this benefits the family because we have Sprout, which is PBS for preschoolers and Noggin, Nickelodeon for preschoolers.

I grew up watching very little TV. We didn't even own one until I was 9 and until my teen years, viewing was very limited. I don't even think I watched the Muppets or Sesame Street. (My youngest sister who is 10 years behind me, did watch all that stuff though) Before I had children, I intended to keep TV viewing at a minimum. I wanted my children to have an imagination and make up games and stories.

Fast forward to real life and a firstborn who requires much entertainment! I watched my niece full-time during Miss Rose's 1st year, so she had an almost constant playmate in her cousin and in me. Baby Einstein was often the only way I could take a shower without worrying about Miss Rose while she was an infant.

By the time she was 1, Disney shows for young ones were a regular in our home. We have never left children's programming on all day long--but I will say Miss Rose watched more of it than I ever expected or intended. But I loved the lessons taught on the Berenstein Bears and the instruments she learned about on Little Einsteins. I didn't feel too much guilt!

So now Miss Rose is quickly approaching 5 years old and I often think her intelligence (although not her maturity) is a few years beyond that. Lately she's been refusing the "preschool programming" in favor of Jon and Kate plus 8 (her new fave show) or other "older" kid shows.

I'm not ready though to venture into the grown up kid world. There are topcis and vocabulary on most of those shows I'm not interested in her viewing. I still want to protect her from what I deem as unacceptable for our home.

I know it's inevitable though. The transition has begun. I can't protect her too much and I need to take advantage of the teaching opportunties we may find. Come January she will hopefully be in a pre-K program in a public school and next September it's kindergarten. She has to be ready. Most kids her age are watching far more mature programming.

I will not be throwing caution to the wind. I'll still be offering the educational TV and learning what more mature shows are appropriate for her. And I suspect that as her schooling begins, TV time will be even more limited--which will work in my favor too!

They just grow up too fast.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away

I recieved word last night that the mom of a friend of mine had passed away. She was participating in a triathalon and there was a bike accident in which she sustained serious injuries. We were all praying fervently that the Lord would heal her, but the healing He chose was an eternal one.

As I lay in bed last night praying for my friend and her family, this was the verse that came to mind. Sometimes God's plan is so hard to understand. I like to make sense of things and it's hard to figure out why one is given more time on this earth and why another isn't.

I am still in awe at the miracle that has taken place in my friend A's life--2 major heart attacks with no warning at 28 and after a few months of waiting she recieved a heart transplant and is now home recovering. At times it seemed hopeless...but God had other plans.

Why is it that the fervency of prayers was probably the same, yet there were two different answers? I am a pastor, and still this troubles me. Loss is heartbreaking.

Yet this verse from Job--"the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord", rings true. There is no explaination, no reasoning. Just the simple fact that God does what He sees as best and we are to bless His name no matter what.

I have no idea how I would have gotten through life without God. Without the comfort of verses like that. There are so many times that as humans, we can find no answers. But I can always find God.

A co-pastor shared today how at the Passover meal, the first food eaten is bitter and the last food eaten is sweet and the truth that God never gives the bitter without at least a little bit of sweet.

How true this is. Certainly, the sweet can be hard to find and hard to even appreciate when the bitter is so strong. I think of my friend who mourns her mom, but also has a 2 month old baby daughter. I trust this baby girl will bring joy, in the midst of the pain.

My heart and prayers go out to this family experiencing one of the greatest losses. May God bring them peace and comfort through His people and His Word.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Naps are my Nemesis

I have two nap issues to share with you today.

Miss Rose is 4.5 and has been a pretty great sleeper most of her life. We had a few weeks of crying around 6 months as she learned to put herself to sleep and to sleep through the night. (Thankfully I learned my lesson and taught Maleah to self-soothe much earlier so we didn't have to go through that again). Miss Rose thrives on routine and so was always glad to go down for her naps. Around 18 months I converted her to 1 afternoon nap--which for a long time was 3 and sometimes even 4 hours. Oh such glorious hours for a mom!

I realize I am lucky that at 4.5 she will still gladly take a 2 hr nap. But it's starting to cause problems at night. Bedtime is around 8pm, which both mama and dad rely upon! We'd both much rather have kids who are in bed early and have those last few evening hours to ourselves, then have them sleep in late. However, some nights this summer Miss Rose has been up until 9:30 or 10pm. She'll play around in her room some, come out and ask us things about 10 times until we finally law down the law. I know it means naptime needs to come to an end.

But the transition is NOT an easy one for her. She may make it okay through naptime playing and having quiet time, but the evening almost always brings very bad behavior. Tonight she basically yelled at me at a church event (chastised may be a better word), in front of other adults. Not acceptable. I know the lack of a nap is part of it--but we teach her that no matter how she feels, she still has to behave.

Some days she still takes naps, especially if it's been a big morning, but I try to keep those shorter. I know she will adjust, but for my routine oriented girl, it's not easy. We have a year until Kindergarten, so hopefully by then it will be all worked out.

The other nap issue is my own! With this pregnancy, and the current heat especially, I am just exhausted in the afternoons. Some days I literally cannot keep my eyes open. When I'm at work, I have to--but days I am at home, it's a struggle. Mostly the nap wins!

I've shared before how insomnia is an issue for me. These naps don't help. Take yesterday for instance. I spent much of the morning doing housework and laundry then we had a family outing. It was fun--but by the time we got home and got the kids down, it was lights out for me. I slept probably 1.5 hrs. And in spite of the two tylenol PM I took around 10:30, I did not fall asleep until almost 2am. That's a bit worse than normal, but it's common.

It's a vicious cycle. Because then I wake up tired. I'm trying to avoid caffeine, so I can't rely on that to keep my awake. Come afternoon--I need another nap!

Somehow today I managed to avoid taking a nap, in spite of the 2am incident. That should mean I'll easily fall asleep tonight and perhaps not need a nap tomorrow. I'd rather get my sleep at night. I'm waiting for more of the infamous "2nd trimester" energy to come my way. I know come the 3rd trimester, I'll probably need more naps again.

So, avoiding our home right now is a good idea. We have a grumpy, tired pregnant mama, and a grumpy tired napless 4.5 yr old. Oh the joys!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What God wants, God gets

I have an infinate amount of faith and trust in God. I've had the privilege of serving him my entire life. With all the twists and turns my life has taken, looking back I see God's hand in everything--even the most difficult or painful experiences.

However, that doesn't change the fact that I am a planner and am a bit of a control freak is some areas of my life. I certainly am not a Type A personality across the board--but I like to have a plan and I like it when things go according to plan. Of course there are areas I wish I was more more Type A (like cleaning and actual organization of my home).

So while I trust God--I still like to have a plan! And, most of my life has gone according to the plans I've laid out--in regards to jobs, schooling, children etc. I've always seen it as confirmation that my will and God's will are mostly in sync. Sure details often change, but the grand scope seems to work out.

One area that I'm a big control freak in is procreation or it's prevention! I learned how to track my cycle which is necessary for the form of birth control I use. I've been successful in this for a long time. Between the two girls and then the last several months.

Remember this post about the magic number of children that seems to exist for each individual/family? I guess I have confirmation that God agreed with my stance on it...but things aren't exactly according to the plan I had.

You've probably figured it out...I'm pregnant. A desired, but not a planned pregnancy! I was thinking we'd get pregnant sometime next year--but I guess God had other plans.

With all my planning and tracking, things somehow went awry! Not only did I get pregnant in spite of prevention, but I found out yesterday I am 4 weeks further along than I calculated. I went from 10 weeks to 14 weeks. Yikes!!

I can't decide if I have more shock about being pregnant to begin with or at being further along. I have known for several weeks now--from when I thought I was 5 weeks, but I was really 9. There's some "female facts" I'll spare you from in this forum. I honestly have no idea how this all is happening--except to say--God gets what he wants. God wanted us to have a baby this coming February and in spite of my planning and prevention--he made sure it happened.

I am thrilled to be having a third baby. It's kind of hard to comprehend at times since Gracie still feels like such a baby to me. But I guess at that point she'll be almost 2 and hopefully will seem older. We just told Miss Rose yesterday and she is excited. Her teacher said she talked about it all day at school today.

The timing will be interested. Baby will come probably days or a week after Miss Rose's birthday and just before Bean's birthday. I had hoped to have an "end of the year " baby to avoid sandwiching another birthday in the first half of the year. Since my church is without a senior pastor, the future of my job could be in question when one is hired. But--if God wanted this baby to come now--he must have a plan for everything else!

So, that hopefully explains a bit about why I haven't written much lately. Much of what's been in my head has been related to the pregnancy and I wanted to wait to share until after I'd seen a healthy baby on the ultrasound. Now I'll probably have SO much to say!

Remember, what God wants...God gets. You can plan all you want, but in the end it does come down to faith and trust.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Having a Fun Family Week

Just a quick hello! We are having a wonderful "stay-cation" just enjoying togetherness. Bean has been working a 2nd job for a year now. Once you factor in church events, family celebrations and managing life the rest of the time--it doesn't make for a lot of family time.

We've visited an aquarium, spent time at Sea World, gone to the pool a few times and just hung out! Much needed. Bean has to go back to his 2nd job tomorrow evening, but we still have a few days of togetherness.

Hope your family is enjoying time together as well this summer.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kidless Weekend

We had, what I am pretty sure was, our first kidless weekend since being parents of 2. We've both been away at various times, but one was always home with the kids. For the past 16 months, even when I left overnight, I brought the baby with me.

It was SO nice to be able to sit around and just do whatever we wanted! Bean and I took a group of college/young adult students to Big Bear this weekend. We rented this fabulous huge log house and just hung out all weekend. There were lots of stairs and balconies, so we'd have been chasing Gracie all around without a doubt. They played the wii a lot, which Miss Rose would have wanted in on, and whined until she got a turn.

The girls had a blast with their grandmas. They went to the Wild Animal Park with my mom and Chuck E Cheese with Bean's mom. I was expecting Gracie to be pretty clingy after we picked them up, but she wasn't bad at all. It's nice that they are close to the grandmas, so they feel very secure being with them.

Now we have begun our "staycation." No work! Just hanging out at home and around San Diego. I have lots of plans for organization and purging as well. We've lived in our house almost a year, and Gracie has outgrown a lot of "baby" stuff, so it's time to pack it away for a bit. Lots of other stuff has accumulated as well. My sister just left for her new home in Long Beach a few minutes ago, so we'll also be moving Miss Rose to her own room.

Here's to family time!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Car Seat Safety

One of my mommy soapboxes is car seat safety. I'm not exactly sure how it started, but over the years it's become something I'm concerned about. I know that there is a good chance we'll never be in an accident, and hopefully we won't be--but it's one of those things that you never know, and it could be a life and death situation.

Some of my "musts" have been...

1. Properly installed seats...often meant using rolled up towels or foam noodles to get the tight fit with a seatbelt (no latch in the first car).

2. Middle seat positioning...yes it was a literal pain in my back to be leaning in to the low Saturn I drove to snap in the infant seat or buckle Miss Rose in. But knowing she was safe was worth it. With two kids now, this isn't possible anymore.

3. Extended rear facing...I've been lucky with Gracie because she's much smaller than Miss Rose was at 1 and has her big sister in the backseat to entertain her. She is still in her Graco Safeseat (goes to 30lbs) and is rear facing. I hope to keep her rear facing until she is 2. Yes when I needed to carry her around in the seat it was a little large and awkward, but I managed. Often I'd just put her in a sling instead.

4. Extended harnessing...I think California law says when a child is 4 and 40lbs they can be in a booster. However, harnessing a child provides so much more protection for them. Because Miss Rose is my amazon child, she quickly outgrew the convertible seat we bought her and found there were only a handful of seats that harnessed past 40lbs. She's now comfy in an Apex 65. She'll be harnessed at least until 5yrs old...maybe until she's 6. We'll see.

5. Side Curtain Airbags...this was a HUGE must for me when we were purchasing a new family vehicle. I have a friend who was in a car accident which hospitalized her, but her toddler son was saved from serious injury by middle positioning and side curtain airbags.

I found this story online that demonstrates how important it is to take all precautions when it comes to car safety with your children. The ending is not happy. A family lost their 3-year old son in a car accident because the seat belt used with his booster seat malfunctioned. The family didn't know that there were seats that harnessed beyond 40lbs.

This is a small portion of what they share...

We have since found through an expert that examined the seatbelt, van and carseat that Kyle's seatbelt was ON and latched when we were hit but came off sometime during the rollover. Both Kyle and his booster seat were thrown from the vehicle. Seatbelts do NOT always work, especially in roll overs, so please keep your children in a 5-point harness secured and tethered to the car for as LONG as possible. We have found seats that have 5-point harnesses to 80lbs - the Britax Regent and the Sunshine Kids Radian80. They both can use the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children system to 48lbs and can be secured using the seatbelt and top tether thereafter till 80lbs. It is WORTH the investment. It is your child's life you are risking every time you put them in the car. Another crucial thing to have is side curtain airbags in the front and back seats in your vehicle - it is only an OPTION in most vehicles that you have to request.

Driving is by far the most dangerous situation you will ever put your child in and no matter how safe YOU are, you never know when someone will run a red light and leave you no time to react. In that moment the investments you made and the thought you put into your child's safety are the only thing that will save him/her. Booster seats are NOT safe, seatbelts FAIL. A 5-point harness tethered and anchored to the car and side curtain airbags would have saved our son's life. If we would have known about them, we would have had them. All the 5-point harness carseats sold in regular stores at the time only go went to 40 pounds (Kyle was over 40 pounds so we thought he had to move into a booster). We did not know you could order a 5-point harness seat for larger children.

We all have our soapboxes...and this is mine. I do encourage you to make sure your children are in the safest seat and best position for them. Do some research and make the best informed decision you can.

A little extra money, a little pain in our backs, are nothing compared to the precious lives of our children.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thanks Jewels!!!

I love the site you found the backgrounds on. Thanks for being so blog-saavy!!

I Love VBS!!

This year is the first time Miss Rose is old enough to attend VBS at our church. I can't believe how old she is getting. Yesterday I was browsing the Sunday ad's and seeing all the back-to-school sales made me realize that next year we'll be doing that shopping for her. She'll be starting Kindergarten. It's hard to believe my daughter will be that old. In fact, if she were just a few months older, she'd be starting Kindergarten this year.

Some days, I wish she were starting Kindergarten already. She's pretty intelligent, learns quickly and needs the mental stimulation. But, I realize that emotionally she's not quite ready. She's still just 4 1/2. Because she's so big for her age, many expect her to handle herself a little better than she does sometimes. So it's probably a good thing that she'll have another year of maturity before entering Kindergarten. I kind of hope she doesn't grow a ton in the next year so she doesn't look 3 years older than the other kids. She'll be the oldest in the class probably as it is. I still can't figure how two parents who are 5'4 and 5'7 have produced this amazon child.

But--I'm excited that she's going to VBS for 3 hours every morning this week. Mostly because I know she'll have a blast and learn a lot. However---I'm enjoying the fact that I have 3 hours to myself this morning. Gracie is here of course, but she'll nap for at least 2 of those hours. I have exciting plans to clean my floors! Most other mornings I am working or otherwise occupied, but even one morning to myself is a huge treat!

Next week is our "staycation." We are so looking forward to it. Bean and I will be taking college students to Big Bear this weekend and the girls will be staying with their grandma's. Then next week we'll do fun stuff around San Diego, hang out and just enjoy family time.

I also need to find new childcare for my kids by the end of the month. That's a bit of a stresser...but I trust it will all work out. Miss Rose's daycare is closing and to make things much easier for me and less driving (less gas $$) I'm hoping to find someone to come watch the girls at my house a few days a week. So far my top picks have class. Forget education...play with my kids!!!