Monday, July 27, 2015

the #bigs are ready + other stuff

We're getting ever closer to meeting this baby, which means I've been nesting and obsessing over the nursery, cleaning out our closets, making ridiculous/endless to-do lists and not really sleeping much anymore (the result of a combination of  heartburn, being huge and the aforementioned to-do lists weighing on my mind.)

I'm generally a laid back person, but the nesting instinct makes me temporarily crazy.  I logically know that all I need are some diapers and a few onesies, but the hormones convince me that I need to do ALL THE THINGS before baby comes home.

When Billy innocently suggests that maybe we should "put the projects on hold for now, because it IS possible to bring a new baby home without having our old side tables refinished", I gently put down my paint brush/hot glue gun/sand paper and offer no words...just the arms crossed/eyebrows raised stare.  Luckily he knows this means to slowly back away and go check the to-do list ;)  

Billy has seen this phase a few times before and goes with the flow. He's a saint.  He went to Walmart at 5am on Sunday morning to buy me a body pillow because I literally could not get comfortable enough to sleep this past Friday or Saturday night.  I didn't even have to ask, he just knew what I needed. That's love.  Or maybe he was just annoyed to be laying next to someone who's constantly changing positions, rearranging the pillows and pulling at the covers.  He probably just wanted some sleep too, but wouldn't ever tell me that ;)  I cherish him and his tolerance during the home stretch.

I really have no other pregnancy-related complaints right now other than how awkward sleeping is.  But this new Walmart pillow is magic (I took a heavenly nap with it on Sunday afternoon), so I'm hoping to sneak in some final weeks of uninterrupted sleep with my new secret weapon.

Speaking of sleep, the boys are doing great with the new sleeping arrangements. (huge sigh of relief!)  It took a night or two, but the novelty has worn off and Fletch has embraced his new spot.  

Other things...I designed these t-shirts for the boys and baby.   And by "designed" I mean typed words in a font I like and emailed it to a local t-shirt printer.  The guys are thrilled.  Max loves that his says "biggest" lest anyone forget.  I think they all feel like they're getting the recognition they deserve as they move up the ranks ;). I let them wear the shirts for just a little bit and had to persuade them to give them back until baby arrives.  I took the opportunity to take pictures, of course.  

If Fletcher grows even the tiniest bit in the next month his shirt won't even fit him when the baby arrives!

Also, last week after our 3D sonogram, the boys got to watch the video for "movie night".  It was so cute to watch them watching their new baby.  
 Even Fletch was jumping and pointing and exclaiming, "BABY!".  Max said he thought it was the cutest baby ever and Sully just wished he could hold the baby RIGHT NOW!  
I echo all of the above sentiments, my sweet boys.  

I love how enthusiastic they are about their new sibling.  Every time I go to a Dr appointment Sully asks..."you gonna get that baby out now??"  And I have to explain that 5 weeks is still a long way to go in "kid time" :)   They're trying to be patient.  

Not much longer now, big brothers!

Aww...and look what I dug up from before Fletcher was born...

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Bunk Room

So living in Brookside in a 100 year old house means we don't have a ton of space/bedrooms. It was a choice we consciously made when we decided we were forever Brooksiders (and also wanted a big family).  We realized we'd always face the challenge of available square footage.

However, for us personally, the space issue is a small sacrifice to pay for the fullness living in this community brings our family.  Plus we've always had this romantic belief that "love grows best in small houses".  We wouldn't trade it for anything, but that does mean we have to get creative as we expand.

With that in mind we divided the "kids living spaces" into three areas:  The Nursery, The Bunk Room and The Playroom.

Luckily, having all boys thus far, it works well to put them all in one room...frat house style ;)

The goal is for toys stay in The Playroom and have The Bunk Room be for sleeping/quiet time only.  As a rule we pretty much only allow books and stuffed animals in their room.  It's worked well so far and I attribute these "rules" to the reason my boys generally fall asleep quickly and easily once in bed.

Fletch is in the process of graduating from The Nursery to The Bunk Room and it was important to me to make an intentional space for him...even though the crib has been in that room since Sully joined the "big boy" ranks back in 2013.

I know Fletcher's little but I think he likes seeing some of his familiar things hanging over his "new" crib. And I keep pointing to his name up on the wall and telling him that it says "Fletcher".  The big boys are excited about their new roommate...provided he doesn't "keep them up" as Max says :)

We've tested the waters with the transition, but have yet to fully dive in.  I suspect it's going to be a rough couple nights at first (Fletch hasn't received the memo that this is the sleeping room NOT the party room) and I just haven't found the courage to fully commit quite yet! :)

Soon, though...the clock is ticking.

A peek at the boys' bunk room:
The Nursery is currently undergoing a transformation as well. I have been Craigslisting, thrifting and PAINTING my heart out, so hopefully it all comes together the way I envision.  Pics to come :)

Here are the before pictures of the nursery when I had just completed it for Fletch...

Monday, July 13, 2015

Questions about #4 (and maybe more?)

Going out in public with my three boys and giant belly has become quite the attraction (spectacle is maybe a better word?).

Being pregnant in general draws attention and unsolicited comments from strangers, but pregnant + three young children -- especially all of the same gender -- seems to be the perfect storm. People can't help themselves. Many comments are kind words of encouragement from women who have big families or who have all boys or just want to ask how I'm feeling.

However, I kid you not, I have heard all of these comments as well. ALL said in front of my kids, no less.

- "You know how *this* happens, don't you?"  - I love to reply "Yes, and we're actually doing it on purpose!"  And just to make their eyes a little wider I reveal that this is hopefully NOT our last baby.  If you didn't already think I was crazy, Target check-out lady...take a minute to let that sink in ;)

- "Looks like you need to learn to tell your husband "no" once in awhile!"  (um, what?)

- "I feel so bad for you..." (again...what? why?)

"You sure are brave!"  (this one doesn't bother me much, because, yes, I do feel quite brave :)

And the #1 question I get? {drum roll....}

- Were you trying for a girl?

This one is BY FAR the most common and by far the most offensive question (yes, even more offensive than eluding to my sex life or birth control choices).  It just seems like a crazy thing to ask.  No, I would not bring a human being into the world for the sole purpose of adding a specific gender to my "collection" of kids.  I have no control over whether it's a boy or girl (thankfully and rightfully so) and I don't spend time obsessing about it.  (and please, oh, please don't try to explain the "Shettle's Method" to me)

Usually strangers will also offer consolation..."well, if you DO have all boys at least you won't have to pay for a wedding, deal with all the girl drama, etc".  Really...I'll be happy with whatever "parts" my baby is born with, but thank you for your comforting words!

People's fascination with this topic always surprises me. I guess maybe it's because if there's one thing I've learned from having 3 of the same that they're anything but the same.  I have three very individual humans I'm raising.  I'm not in some sort of monotonous, predictable cycle of boys.

I have the joy of raising a smart, sensitive soul with big feelings, an ornery one that can charm just about anyone and a sweet, silent one who is so go-with-the-flow I think I'd take 100 of him.  SO different.

And I'm learning to parent them differently and figure out how to communicate with each of them.  None of them fully fall into the "boy" stereotype either. Yes, they love the outdoors, cars and sports.  But they also love princess movies, crafts, tea parties and doing my hair "so you look pretty for dada" as they say:)  

Honestly, I know people are mostly well-meaning.  And aside from having to tack on an additional 5 minutes to every errand we run just to field these curious questions it doesn't really bother me.  I just hope my children don't pick up on these sometimes insensitive questions and wonder if their momma really wanted them or wonder if maybe they're a burden in some way.

At any rate, we will meet who God has picked for our family very soon.  Whoever he/she is we are madly, deeply in love with this roly-poly, acrobat baby already (seriously this child never stops moving and flipping in my belly). The big brothers are beside themselves with anticipation and love to talk to the baby and feel him/her kick.  Plus they've been giving me daily foot rubs which has been awesome :)

My dear babies, 
Each of you were wanted and prayed for and we never wished for you to be anyone but who YOU are.  
You are my greatest gifts.  My fortune.  And that is one thing you will never have to question.
My whole heart,

Sunday, July 5, 2015

What freedom looked like to us...

We had the perfect, relaxing Independence Day.  The kids soaked up every ounce of sun, fun and chlorine that they could.

Here's what freedom looked like to us (from my iPhone)...
Kicked off the weekend on Friday with a morning activity centered around what the big celebration was all about.  And how freedom is not free.
Max and Sully put the numbered strips in order and learned some big new words...endowed, unalienable, liberty.  Not sure how much of all of this was actually retained, but we tried ;)
Fletch obviously had no idea what was going on, but enjoyed the glue stick!
So proud of his stars & stripes.
 Then we went to grill and play in the water at the Mimi & PopPop's house.  
Cousin fun.
photo cred: Colleen
 Early Saturday morning we went to Jenni & Adam's neighborhood for a parade.
My poor Max and his injury unrelated to the festivities.
Sully accidentally threw a book.  At his face.
From there we headed to a pool party at a friends house.
And then picked up some essentials for the evening... 
And that was just Part 1 of our day.

After a major power nap back at home (for ALL, including me :), we headed down the street to hang out with our dearest friends for a little street-party action.
Indoor appetizer break with the aunts.  And me making sure I got my share of guacamole.
Photo cred:  Neeley
Max was in little boy heaven with endless smoke bombs.
If summer had a flavor can we agree it would taste like a bomb pop?!
A little fact about me...I crave the old school way of doing things. And this was the perfect throw-back kind of celebration that I hope my kids get a heavy dose of throughout their childhood.

Sticky hands, dirty feet, sweaty faces.  Real stuff happening right here.
Oh, to be young, wild and free :)

We hope everyone had a happy and safe Independence Day!