friday night mind dump

I wrote this on Friday night and now it's Monday afternoon. But this is what I was thinking about on Friday night...

It has been quite the week. We had multiple days with huge events...and well, actually, any outing feels like a huge event lately. I just told Rory tonight that I can't hold Hattie over the sink any more to wash her hands. I am throwing in the towel on that one. So if I'm struggling to wash Hattie's hands, we know a trip out of the house is quite the ordeal.

On Tuesday Hattie had a big appointment at Gillette's that included a sedated MRI. The results came back in our favor and we are so grateful and glad for awesome doctors and for a good report. The moment the second doctor left the room and we were free to go home my stomach went tight as a rock. I had to sit there for a moment and let it pass, but I felt very clearly that the baby inside was saying, "alrighty, time to turn your attention to me. I'm coming soon." 

We got home and on Wednesday morning I woke up in full-on nesting mode. And my first task was the kids clothes. I went through each drawer, ruthless, trying to get each kid down to 7-8 outfits, and making a list of what I could buy to make certain items into an outfit. Then I did my own clothes. It felt great and in the end I had bags and bags to give away. That night we had a babysitter so Rory and I could go out to dinner and I ended up having him take me to a small town nearby where I was able to donate all the clothes to a little church that has a pay-as-you're-able thrift shop in the basement. You know you're in full purge mode when you use date time/ babysitter time to drop off stuff you want out of your house! We then went out for dinner and had a great night. We are usually pretty terrible about date nights but this summer we are trying hard to rectify that. We have our sitter come for two hours. This way we can afford her to come weekly. I'm just so glad she's on the calendar!

Thursday I woke up ready to gut Hattie's room and clean it from top to bottom for the new baby. I swept, mopped, rolled up the old and nasty rug (lots of spit up on that baby) getting ready for a new rug, wiped the base boards, downsized her toys and Rory built a second crib in the big kids room for Hattie. Elsie used 54 wipes to wipe down the walls and dresser and crib and I was so grateful for her help. That night Hattie had her first sleep over with her siblings and it went surprisingly well. She cries out in the night, not needing anything, but still startling for her big brother. He's may be the one who is having the most difficulty with the new sleeping arrangement. And I don't really blame him. Rory and I slept without a noise fan for the first time since Hattie was born. She is noisy...so Ivar may get a sound machine out of the deal. 

I also spent the day cleaning my laundry room which has become a catch all of every single thing that comes into the house and doesn't have a home. It was a great task since I am in the give-away spirit. The room looks flawless again and I am so pleased. Today I walked in there a few times just to take it in. I went out with girlfriends last night, which felt so good and will likely not happen a whole lot this summer after the baby arrives. 

And then Friday came and I was wiped out. Hattie and I walked to the barn first thing to find "Dada!" and shortly after Rory left for a meeting. It was then that I saw all the sheep out near the garden, out of their fence. I waddled back out there, opened the barn doors and took a good long while working them back into their barn stall. I texted Rory that I was panting has hard as the sheep. 

After lunch I called Rory, who was out in the garden, and told him I needed direction for the day. A friend had just left after a fun play date and I was aimless and exhausted. And he said, "go to bed." And I wanted to cry with thanksgiving. So that's what I did for the afternoon. When I woke up he took Elsie on a date to Dairy Queen, we ate rice and beans for dinner, enjoyed Family Movie Night with a little ditty about a Fireman named Sam and now I just read to the kids and put them all to bed in the same room. Hattie cried for a bit, but she's out now. And Ivar just came down and said, "I'm turning on the air conditioning." And he did! 

I'm not really sure why I wrote all of that out...you are likely bored out of your gourd. But I suppose if I read this years down the road, I might remember this season a little better. There were other things that happened this week too...like Rory and Ivar packing a lunch and heading into the woods near us for an adventure that led to an unexpected waterfall and giant boulder. And all the afternoons I spent up in the barn praying and reading my Bible while Rory took the kids for an hour before dinner. We had our friend's wedding on Sunday, Memorial Day at Rory's folks with the whole Groves clan, and even some impromptu meetings with our pastor as we worked some things out before baby arrives. Life is good and full. We are trying now to slow it all down before it gets even fuller. Tomorrow I will wash the newborn clothes in Dreft and then I'll probably need another nap again. :)

kid quotes

Most of these are Elsie Quotes, because she's four and that is the age that every kid should have a camera crew capturing their hilarious thoughts. Four year old quotes are way better than any sitcom.

Ivar: Mom, I would like to get that book about Space back from the library so you can draw a big picture of the planets and I can color it in.
Elsie: Mom. I don't want to learn about Space at all. I think it's very boring because it's just...a lot of space.
Me: What would you like to learn about, Elsie?
Elsie: Well, how the elephants helped get all the poop and pee off of the ark. (totally out of the blue...nothing had been discussed of this ever before.)

Ivar and I laughed a little too hard at her honest educational request. She was sad and ran away. But I still can't stop laughing.

**
I told Elsie she needed to start eating more at mealtimes because her snacking is just not sustainable. She would snack all day long, and I can't be in the kitchen all day meeting her caloric needs. She said, "Mom! I am even hungry when I am eating!!! That is how hungry I am!"

**
Hattie needed a quick bath after a spaghetti dinner. Rory said I could just hand her to him quickly while he took a shower so it wouldn't be so long of an ordeal. Hattie did not enjoy the 90 second experience at all, yelling, "all done! all done!" the whole time. Rory said he was ready to pass her off, and I was ready with a big towel. As soon as I had her in the towel she raised her hands and repeated with quiet crying relief, "Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah," glad that was over.

**
And this one actually happened a few weeks ago, and I wrote it down immediately after it happened when Rory brought me a pen and my journal. I had just told him and he said, "please get that on paper." So here it is, straight from my journal.

Elsie came into the bathroom after they had been tucked in while I was in the bath. She stood on the step stool and looked at herself in the mirror and told me with great animation and exaggerated expressions, "Mom, for my 20 birthday I want to get my ears pierced because it will hurt like a shot but then I'll have sparkle jewels and then my hair will be to my knees like Laura Ingalls and I can take you shopping so you have something beautiful. And I'll wear one of your necklaces, probably not your white circle one (pearls) because that was your grandma's and very special to you, but probably this circle one with the sparkles because you'll probably have a new one. And I'll wear my bracelet from church and I'll be so beautiful because I'll be all jeweleried! And mom! We will paint our toenails because the polish will probably be off! So when I am (said quietly to herself 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20) nineteen we can paint our nails so that when I am 20 they are dry! And I would like you to paint your fingers because that is prettier. An you should cut your hair a little bit so it grows faster and longer down to your knees like Laura!"

**
Elsie said, "Mom, when it is my birthday no one can cry or be mean or be sassy. Because that is my special day. They can only cry if they get really hurt, like bleeding and need a band aid."

**
Elsie has a little wall art that says, "sisters make the best friends." She looked at it and said, "mom, look for a little sign on your computer to hang on my wall that says, "Brothers and Sisters make the jolliest of friends."


...and a picture...

My sister called today and said that I can't write about how big I am without posting a picture. Ha! I get that. So here is a picture from the wedding. In full disclosure, this is the best (most flattering) picture of me from the batch (kankles cropped) from that day. Because I have my dignity.

But I was told by my doctor yesterday that the baby is for sure 8 pounds already. And growing!

how big is becca?

So big!

This pregnancy has taken the cake for not-recommended-pregnancy-comments. I have heard it all, starting at 32 weeks when a woman said, "you must be due any day now!" And I had to tell her that no, I still had TWO months to go. I have a little tally list of people asking "are you positive it's not twins?!!" Even one who followed up, "and you had a full ultrasound? and they're sure there isn't another hiding in there?" And just today the receptionist at my doctors office said, "It's gotta be twins!" The receptionist at an OB clinic. Come on!

But the very best comment was this weekend at a wedding. In my large state I was trying to look inconspicuous when I clearly am not. One of my very favorite girls from church who is 6th or 7th grade came up to me and asked, "when are you having your baby again?" And I told her I still had three weeks to go. Then she carefully looked from my belly down to my ankles, scanning slowly all the way back up to my face and asked sincerely, "Do you like being that big?"

I might have been offended if I hadn't had so many weeks of comments to thicken my skin. So I laughed hard at her very honest question. And I told her, "you know, I definitely feel big and it's not always comfortable. But the amazing thing to me is that there is a fully developed human being inside of my body. That's why I'm so big...because my body is growing an entire life, and all that is needed to grow that baby is packed inside of me. The more I think about that, the more amazed I am that the whole thing can happen at all. And then I actually love being this big because being pregnant is really amazing."

36 weeks!

Early on in this pregnancy I felt waves of nervousness about the labor and delivery. After Hattie's 54 hour labor, that would obviously be quite normal! I had about a month where I thought about it a lot and hoped that maybe I would have an easy labor since the last one was such a doozie.

But then my cousin Sarah went way past her due date in December with her 5th child just like I had with Hattie. And I remembered the truth of every pregnancy: when the time finally arrives, you are ready to do whatever it takes to bring that baby out of your body and into the world. It's what makes this last month bearable. Because all of the wakeful nights, round ligament pains, pinched nerves and general discomfort are all leading up to one glorious end. And at this point, knowing the baby growing strong, you are ready to get to meet your babe.

The truth is, I love being pregnant and knowing there is a life growing in my womb. I love that thought and I have enough friends who would give anything for that feeling that I will never complain about being pregnant. I may hobble and I may groan and be uncomfortable, but I will always be grateful.

I'll be grateful even when I walk into a church conference at 32 weeks pregnant and the lady, who I don't know at all taking registrations yells, "Twins!" Even when another woman at that same conference said, "Due any moment! How exciting!" Even when everywhere I turn comments are made about how huge I am. I'm growing a life. I'm bigger this time than with the last three. But again, I'm growing a life. What gives!

That said, I am feeling better about the labor and delivery part. In a crazy twist, we are about to change hospitals and doctors so that more of our care will be covered by our insurance. It feels sort of late in the game, but 1) it will save us a ton of money (!!!) and 2) we "switched" our game plan mid (homebirth) labor last time, ending up in a new hospital with a new doctor while fully in labor, so four weeks feels like plenty of time!

I am preparing in other ways too. A few days ago the "before baby arrives" list came out, and Rory has dutifully been checking one task off each night. Probably the biggest "to do" is getting the second crib set up in Ivar and Elsie's room so that Hattie can join the fun of sibling sleepovers. I anticipate an adjustment period, but I think she'll likely love being one of the crew in their room.

And as always, I feel like there are items I would gladly endorse...things that make my life immeasurably better: First, Liquid Iron. Even if you are not pregnant but feel low energy give this a try. It doesn't taste delicious, but I LOVE the stuff because it feels like magic in my bones. I drink my tablespoon and within an hour feel my energy rise. It is incredible. I would go door to door to sell it.

I am wearing my bracoo belly band every single waking moment. It is not just a stretchy piece of fabric. It is more like a man-made muscle. It holds my belly up for me and I can function fine when I am wearing it. If I don't wear it, it feels like something falls out of place and I end up with a hurting back or pain in my legs. But if I wear it, I am fully able to do what I need to do.

And once again of all the pregnancy pillows the boppy wedge is still my favorite. I use that under my belly and a flat pillow between my legs and that's all I need for a semi-comfortable night's rest. I still wake up for a few hours each night and I try not to think about it too much or be too bothered. It means I'm tuckered before my day even begins, but I usually lay down for a while when Hattie is napping and that helps all around.

So that's my life at 36 weeks. I can hardly believe we are already this far along...life is about to change again in major ways and I don't feel quite ready. But I know from the others that a new baby is best enjoyed with a one-day-at-a-time set of expectations. So that is what I will expect...to take all that is ahead one day at a time. It's exciting to be getting so close!