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project: one fun thing

Yesterday I began a new program called: One Fun Thing. Each day until baby comes we will do something out of the ordinary that will help all of us pass the time. Hattie woke me up early this morning (as always) and told me, "baby come out and put clothes on. baby is very chilly." She is quite concerned that the baby has no clothes on right now. She's ready to swaddle and snuggle. So am I!

Yesterday's fun thing was super fun. We took six scoopie tokens we got at our town's home and garden show and cashed them in for cups of delicious ice cream. It was so good. And so sugary. I am still doing whole 30, except for obvious moments like this...and that custard is so sweet! And delicious. We drove our ice cream to my favorite picnic table in town and had such a happy time. Followed by popcorn from the popcorn stand and all the kids putting their feet in the fountain. It was a perfect summer moment.
And here I am! This picture goes out to my Aunt Louie who said she needed a side profile shot. So thanks to Ivar for taking my picture. :) I had my very first contractions last night from 12-4, enough to wake me up, but not enough for me to get out of bed or anything. So things are moving in the right direction.

I woke up this morning and cleaned my upstairs bathroom for over an hour. This is hilarious/embarrassing, but I thought my bathtub was discolored from some product or something, but after some serious elbow grease while on all fours, I realized it was just that dirty. Ha! ...and Gross! I think I was trying to overdue it to see if I could get things moving along. But nothing happened other than I now have the cleanest bathroom ever.

Enjoy the weekend! I cannot imagine more perfect weather than these days we're enjoying right now!

the fence!

We're all still here! And baby is still cozy on the inside. But we got the fence in and we love it. We walked the perimeter of our property last night and it was such a beautiful night. I am so tight in the belly and I couldn't sleep last night until 2am. Things feel like they're beginning, though I still have not had a who knows. This afternoon we are going out for ice cream cones. I insisted. :)

39 weeks, 3 days

Well here we go! My due date is this Sunday, August 11th. That said, Alden arrived 7 days after his due date, Hattie came 10 days after her due date, Elsie came promptly on her due date and Ivar made his appearance one day before his due date. My babies stay put for the long haul, it seems.

However, at my appointment a week and a half ago my doctor felt my belly and said, "oh my. that's the head. it is so low!" And then at my appointment a week later (this past Monday) she said, "it is so, so low." And it's true. I usually carry my babies so high right up to the end. But I actually look smaller with this pregnancy because I think everything is positioned so differently. And when I sit in a chair, it feels like I have a bowling ball snug on my lap. 

So we are right in the middle of the mind-game stage. The one that makes me think every little feeling or tightening or wave of nausea might be the start of the real deal. But then I remember it's not that likely, so then I hit a huge project to keep me occupied. But them I am exhausted and worry that now I'll go into labor tired and then I sit and think that every physical feeling might be the start of labor... And on it goes. 

It's also that stage where the kids are extra clingy and have all sorts of emotions of their own as we all are waiting. Hattie helped me pack the kids' overnight bags for grandma and grandpa's and mimi and papa's. While packing she asked one thousand times, "we going today? no? when baby comes? oh. when will baby come? today? no? when will baby come?" 

And I suppose that's the exact script running through all of our heads this week.

But today we have the very last project on the list: the perimeter fence on our property is being installed! The guys dropped off their equipment last night! This is a project that demanded 27 other projects to get done before this day could arrive. You know those projects? Rory has spent the whole summer removing trees, stumps, wood piles, clearing brush, leveling land, taking down an old wooden fence, mowing down thistle, calling in friends for a chainsaw party to help make a way through thick woods... oh it has been so much work. But here we are! The guys come today and after today 3/4's of our property will have a permanent fence to keep our animals in and other animals out. It will help greatly with setting up temporary paddocks with our electric netting. It's like that game you used to play with your siblings with the grid of dots on the paper, and you each take turns drawing one line to complete a box. Having the perimeter done will help so much in the world of fencing. And really, much of successful farming is simply successful fencing. So we are thrilled.

I felt like things were starting up last night and Rory asked kindly, "oh please, let's just get the fence in first..." So real quick, we're going to get the fence in...  

drive thru window

On Saturday we went out to the little cabin Rory built originally as a home office and played drive thru. We had a good friend live in the cabin this summer for about 7 weeks. She goes to our church and lives with a woman from our congregation. But that woman had her daughter coming home for part of the summer and needed Lena's room back. So Lena moved in with us! The cabin has electricity, but no running water. She said it felt very Thoreau-esque.

Lena moved out last weekend, which left a cabin all set up with a bed, a desk, and basically it makes for the perfect playhouse now. Which delights the kids to no end. But, thanks to a screen that was popped out, we ended up playing drive thru with me making up silly orders and them gladly making my food and us handing money back and forth, all in our imaginations. It was so fun.
Elsie told me recently that she is going to take care of the baby all the time. She said, "just think, the littles will be in the rock box because they love it there. Ivar will play legos and you can just bake and clean and take a nap! Because I'll take care of the baby!"

And part of me believed her! Because I think she will genuinely be a huge help to me. She already is in so many ways, making bread in the bread machine all by herself, helping load and buckle when it's time to go somewhere, helping me get meals ready and on the table. I am so glad to have her help!

She somehow scraped her face really good on the picket fence in the kitchen garden. I still don't get how it happened, but it left a scratch right under her eye. While brushing her teeth and looking at herself in the mirror she told me, "I'm glad my scratch is still on my face. It shows that I am a tough cookie."

She is a sweet and delightful tough cookie.

Awesome and Wonderful

Rory will often take one of our girls out on a daddy-daughter date. Hattie got to go to Menards last week and brought home a box of Dots. But she was so thrilled at the special time she kept telling Rory in every aisle, "We dating, Daddy? We dating!" So this week Ivar called in a special mother-son date. He had the plan: Walmart to look at legos and dinner at A&W. When we got to A&W he was a bit panicked that a kids meal might not fill him up enough. He was really hungry, he told me. So I got the kids meal and he got the value meal which meant his float was twice the size of mine...and this positively delighted him. (The float was a whole 30 exception, and was totally worth it!)

We had the best time. We laughed so much. I kept making up fake monologues that cracked him up. When we arrived at Walmart I said, "Alden, you have to let Ivar help you unbuckle. Nope, I am not going to do it. Ivar is going to help you. Hattie and Alden, you cannot take off your shoes every time we are in the car. This is too much work for me to put them back on each time. Now find your buddy and hold hands. Alden. You have to hold Ivar's hand." And Ivar would laugh and laugh, "That's exactly how it is, mom! Exactly!"

We got home and he told everyone about every part. Even how "most people at A&W are really old." Which was accurate of last night. The 70+ crowd was represented well. But Ivar and I decided that the two of us will continue to bring that average age down, hopefully with a monthly visit.

When he went to bed he came over and hugged me and said what a great date we had. And it felt so good. Ivar is my oldest, and he puts up with a lot from his siblings as well as high expectations from me. He is a good kid who thrives on order and routine, and life can be stretching when you have little siblings who consistently disrupt order and routine. We work through those challenges a lot. So this night together, laughing and eating and enjoying each other was so, so Awesome and Wonderful. A&W.

Here's to many more root beer floats!