Monday, September 29, 2014

A day at the fair

Ever since I took the boys on the airplane ride at our little county fair, they have been talking about wanting to go to the 'big fair' or the state fair.  Peter and I had been once before but it'd been awhile since we had been there.  We decided to make a day of it and off we went.  Even better, Auntie Amanda and Nana joined us.

They had coupons that let kids get in free on Saturday.  And then Peter test drove a little tiny car (can't remember the kind) outside the fair and got us all free adult admission.  So we all got in for free, awesome!!

It was warm that day but not miserable, there was a nice breeze.  We walked around the exhibits, let the boys ride some rides, ate a picnic lunch, watched the pigs race, and of course we people watched which is one of the best parts :-)

The boys loved all the rides, it was fun to watch them.  When did my boys get so big?

It was a fun day outing spent with my family!  Of course, we saved our money and instead of buying fair food we hit up the Hasty Freeze on the way home for some yummy ice cream.  Perfect summer day!!

Thanks for the fun state fair....see you next year!

Benjamin starts preschool!

I never thought my kids would go to preschool.  I know some parents love it, but I always thought it was a little unnecessary.  The idea of sending my kids to school before they 'needed to' seemed awful....I want them to stay with me as long as possible.

Now, we're not sure exactly what we're going to do with schooling for our boys.  We can't afford the local christian school, so we're looking into the local charter school.  Only problem is that you only get in based upon a lottery system so we're not guaranteed that Benjamin will get in next year for kindergarten.  We had heard that you were given preferential treatment in the lottery system if your child attended the school's preschool so we started looking into it.  Turns out, that's not the case, it's just a standard lottery for admission, but we started to consider preschool anyway for a number of reasons.

Benjamin is really smart and loves to learn.  He is creative, loves to work on worksheets and catches on to things quickly.  And he has come leaps and bounds socially.  He used to be so afraid of other kids everywhere, at McDonalds, at the zoo.....he was always shy and intimidated.  Now, he has a small group of friends from our church and has thrived in that environment.  Unfortunately, none of those kids will be in his kindergarten class which got me thinking.  I wanted our little guy to learn how to make friends without his 'safety net' of the church environment.  When I started thinking about him going to kindergarten every day next year without any of his friends, it made me realize it would be super overwhelming for him.

So we decided to take a baby step and enroll him in preschool for 2 afternoons a week.  I thought it would be a great chance for him to spend a little time doing some fun learning activities and work on making new friends.  A chance to do some fun 4 year old things since Mommy is a little extra busy with baby Ethan.

Anyway, on September 2nd he had his first day.  He was excited so after a quick lunch I managed to get the 3 boys out the door.  Peter's parents had just left from their Labor Day visit so the morning had flown by, but luckily Peter managed to sneak away from his work day to meet us at the school to help me walk Benjamin to his class (wasn't sure how I was going to get Benjamin, Jonah, and Ethan to the class while carrying all his school supplies, ha!)

(Jonah misses his brother a lot while he is gone, even though he naps most of the time!)

We hung up his backpack, said hi to his teacher, I gave him a hug and a kiss and he got busy playing with toys.  He seemed okay so we turned around to let him have a good first day.

And.I.Lost.It.  I couldn't stop crying.  I was trying not to be 'that mom' but goodness gracious I was crying the ugly cry throughout the whole walk back to the car.  And when I saw Kristen in the parking lot, I lost it again.  I thought I would be okay, but I have never left him somewhere that wasn't with family or a close friend.  It all of a sudden was overwhelming and I almost couldn't breathe.  Even Peter was a bit emotional over it, we couldn't stand leaving our baby. 

Those 2 hours and 45 minutes at home that afternoon just crept by.  I found myself just crying randomly (I'm sure the one month postpartum hormones didn't help either!)

When we finally got to pick him up, I found out that he had had a bit of a meltdown once we left.  Apparently, Daddy forgot to give him a hug and a kiss and he was sooo sad.  Which broke my heart.  The rest of the day seemed to be okay for him, but I wanted to just take him and never come back.

Of course, we did.  Thursday came around and he went back.  And he melted down when we dropped him off.  Cried, grabbed our leg, the works.  And though it broke our hearts, we knew it was what was best for him.  And as soon as we left, he was fine for the day, was always excited to show us what he worked on for the day.

But the meltdowns at drop off continued.

So I decided to give him an incentive.  If he could have 4 days of 'drop-offs' without a meltdown he could have a new Lego minifigure.  Well, the first day, even the motivation wasn't enough for no tears, so although it was a bit easier, he didn't quite make his goal that day.

The next day though there were a few tears, but no meltdown...success!  And the next day was easier and easier.  He's still a bit sensitive at drop-off time but he made his goal and was SO excited to get his prize.

This week he'll go again to preschool tomorrow and hopefully his good drop-offs will continue without his extra motivation.  He's finally talked about one little girl that he talks to at preschool, which for Benjamin is huge.  I'm just praying that God will protect him and give him boldness to make new friends.

It's definitely different having to adjust to the school schedule, i.e. coordinating naps around pick-up times, trying to get lunch done early so he can make it to school by noon (why do kids eat sooo slow when you're in a hurry?, but we're adjusting.  I'm so proud of my sweet Benjamin.  He is facing his fears, learning to be brave, and learning lots of things in the meantime.

And this mama is learning to face her fears, learning to be brave, and learning lots of things as well.  Not sure I'm totally embracing this new stage of him being away from me, but we're getting there.  I love you my precious little preschooler!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Swim Lessons

I knew I wanted my boys to take swim lessons again, Benjamin for his second year and Jonah his first, but it was hard to find a good block of time during the summer.  I finally found an evening slot that went through the month of August on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  I know it seemed crazy to pick that time when I was due with Ethan on August 4th, but I figured Peter could always take the older boys and it would give them a nice 'distraction' in the evenings since having a newborn sometimes slows life down a bit (or at least it should, ha!)

And since Ethan was born on August 1st, we all got to go to swim lessons.  I didn't want to miss out, so despite feeling tired, off we went!  Here's my cute boys before their first lesson....

Both boys did great at their lessons.  Jonah took some serious reassuring and encouragement (with a few threats mixed it) from mama to not stop the lessons half-way through or after his face got too wet, but overall he did great.  Benjamin started the week not wanting to put his head all the way under and was a bit timid.

Jonah cracked us up because it seemed like he had the teacher wrapped around his finger.  He would get to play with whatever pool toys he wanted, whenever he wanted.  I don't think she could resist him batting his big blue eyes!  After the last lessons, his teacher and the lifeguard declared my boys the cutest boys they had ever seen.  Of course, I couldn't help but agree, but we chuckled at how they fell prey to their cuteness :-)

Before the final week of lessons, we challenged the boys to really try hard in their classes.  We told Ben to really jump off the side of the pool, rather than sort of fall because he was nervous to put his head under.  And we challenged him to put his head all the way under when it was time to practice their bobs.  We challenged Jonah to really kick his legs and to put his face and head under the water too.  And we promised them a little toy treat from Wal-Mart if they succeeded.

Well, they totally surprised us.  Ben was just holding on to the edge of the pool and all of a sudden determined he could do a bob and put his head all the way under.  He was SO PROUD.  And so were we.  He kept putting his head all the way under over and over, and smiling sooo big, then he would give us the thumbs up sign.  It was adorable and we were so excited for him.  He also jumped in so much better after realizing he could put his head underwater and survive!

And Jonah really worked hard to be brave during his floats, kicked his legs GREAT, and finally put his head under.  We were so proud of how well he did for being just two years old!!

The boys loved their swim lessons and we were so glad for their enthusiasm and improvement.  Hopefully we'll be able to take them to the local pool more this fall so they can get in some more practice!

And little Ethan was a trooper while they swam.  He was mostly happy in his car seat or being held by mama or Auntie Amanda or Nana when they came to watch one night.  Here's a picture of my 3 boys on their final night of lessons...

And this mama survived getting 3 boys out the door for their 6:15pm lessons, with Peter's help of course.  Fun memories!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

First 6 weeks with Ethan

My time for blogging has certainly diminished now that I have 3 little boys....not that I was posting a ton beforehand but that's not the point.  Life is full, the days are often quite long, but we are also so much enjoying our 3 blessings.

Ethan is now 6 weeks old.  Most of the time I'm hardly aware of what day it is but I had my 6 week check-up today so I realize today how old my little guy is getting!  If I was to remember a few things about his first 6 weeks it would be:
*  loved to sleep on Mommy & Daddy's chest for at least one stretch of the night

*  was a great nurser from the beginning, he could probably drink milk from a rock
*  hated diaper changes until his umbilical cord fell off and until a few days after his circumcision healed.  He would scream bloody murder but now he's mostly chill
*  speaking of diaper changes, he has always been a greater poo'er.  Multiple times a day.  At least we know his digestion system works!
*  he is of the carseat.  Especially when it is not moving.  But mostly he just cries (or screams) when he's in his carseat.  Its kind of depressing.  But I re-read Jonah's 2 month post and I had wrote that he hated the carseat too so that gives me hope that he will eventually get over it and we will be able to drive across town without wailing.  There is hope right??
*  loves his brothers and recognizes their voices

*  not a huge fan of the swing (sad face!) or the activity mat yet, but he'll probably like the mat soon.

*  starting sleeping in his own room around 5 weeks old
*  likes to sleep on his tummy
*  loves to have Mommy sing to him
*  enjoys his baths

*  will take a pacifier (paci) to help calm him down
*  went 2-3 hour stretches at night while a newborn, but now goes about 4-5 hours between feedings, occasionally longer.  Last night he went about 8 hours!!

*  weighed 11 pounds 2 ounces at 6 weeks (the nurse snuck a weigh-in at my check up today)
* looks a lot like his brother Jonah

* likes to ride in the Ergo carrier most of the time

This past 6 weeks has been full of ups and downs.  My recovery this time has been a breeze physically and for the most part, its been a breeze emotionally/mentally.  I've had 2 days where I had a bit of a 'break down'.  The first because of sheer sleep deprivation and tiredness (especially with a few longer work hours from Peter) and the second because Ethan declared war against napping during the day and my arms and mind were tired.  It can be so draining hearing a baby cry sometimes.

Yet, there are moments where I've held him on my chest for his entire afternoon nap and just 'breathed him in'.  Or just felt my heart fill with joy when he smiles for the first time.  His first smile was for his daddy while his tummy was being eaten/ sweet!  Benjamin and Jonah absolutely love Ethan and hug/kiss him all the time.  Watching that bond is so precious and I don't want to forget that sweetness.

So, yes, I'm tired.  Our schedules have been full of many activities (more posts to come!) which has made for very tired parents at the end of the day.  And some days are harder than others.  But overall, we know that we will sleep again soon.....Ethan will get easier to entertain during his awake periods soon....and that as much as you want to rush the infant stage, you also want time to slow down.

Ethan Samuel, you have fit so well into our crazy household and we love you to pieces.  We love watching you grow and develop and are so blessed to call you ours!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Meeting their brother & our hospital stay

Since Ethan arrived so quickly and easily (everything is relative right?) we were able to have visitors really quickly.  My Mom had to work that day but she was able to sneak away for a quick visit to meet her 8th grandchild around 9am.  It was fun to recap all that had happened in the short time since I told her labor had started.  Love that she was able to be there for some of the first moments of Ethan's life!

Once she left, my sister brought Benjamin and Jonah because they were so excited to meet Ethan and didn't want to wait any longer!

It was absolutely adorable watching them meet Ethan.  They were so sweet, talked to him so kindly and just coo'd over him.  They wanted to hold him and hug and kiss him.  It was really sweet and an answer to prayer that they loved him so much.  I wasn't expecting anything different though since they were so sweet to Ethan while he was in my tummy.

What a fun memory of those first moments with our 3 precious boys.  We attempted to take a picture as a family of 5, and well, you know how those go.  At least its documented right??

We sure did know our lives were going to be B.U.S.Y but we really did feel blessed in that moment!

The boys stayed with my sister and Mom the rest of the day and that evening while we were in the hospital.  Later that night we got a visit from our great friends, Jeremy and Kristen and all their kiddos.  It was fun to share yet another life moment with's been a full 10 years of friendship and memories with them!

The rest of the hospital stay was a breeze.  I immediately wanted to get out of the hospital gown into my regular clothes and I think the nurses thought I was a bit crazy for wanting to get up so soon, but I felt really good considering I had just delivered a baby.  I wasn't super uncomfortable, had no side effects from any medications because I had none, and just felt good.

So aside from the nurses having to check my vitals for the first 24 hours, we were left alone.  I think they got bored of filling my water cup over and over and me not needing much else.  But when Peter is such a good support and helper, and they let you order whatever you want to eat over the phone, and you feel don't need much.  We just enjoyed Ethan, tried to sleep when we could, watched HGTV while we ate, and tried to soak up the quiet time with him.  The boys came by for another visit in the morning after my sister and Mom took them to the garage sale I was so disappointed to be missing (see birth story post)  They brought the clothes they had found for me for the boys in my place!

The cramps did get really uncomfortable while I was nursing him but I knew that was normal and that they often get worse with each child.  Ethan did end up having a little bit of jaundice (Benjamin and Jonah did too!) but his levels weren't high enough for them to put him in the isolette machine.  We were shocked and elated!  Our doctor was a bit slow checking on us on Saturday morning so our release was a bit delayed, but by 1pm we were heading out of the hospital.  Peter lugged our stuff (we had way overpacked thinking we'd be in the hospital a few days like we had had to do with our first 2) and I carried Ethan.

We headed home to 2 wild and crazy boys who were excited to see us, a bit sleep deprived and a little nutso.  It was a calm first evening home though and we got settled in pretty quickly.  Especially since my mom and sister had got out all of those baby items we would need like the swing, playpen, etc (thanks again!!)

It felt so good to be back in our home again with a healthy baby boy and his two big brothers.  God was so good to us and we are so grateful!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...