Archive for June, 2011

Growing new life

My belly at 9 weeks pregnant

I've been growing steadily already. This is my belly at just 9 weeks pregnant! Yes, there is only one baby!

With all my excitement about getting back to blogging, I forgot to mention that we are yet again expecting! This pregnancy was unplanned–to the point where we were actively preventing… but you know how God is. The baby is due on January 6. Today I am just over 12 weeks pregnant.

Just months before falling pregnant, I had gone through the difficult and painful process of giving up on my dream of a big family. Dan did not share this dream, and he had already let me decide about the first two children we brought forth. Since marriage is a partnership and all, I felt I owed it to him to do the work to mourn the loss of that dream and move on with the joy that we already had. One of the things I am working on in life in general is being content with what I already have and silencing the “grass is always greener” voice that speaks too loudly in my head. Just as I felt ready to say that I could be happy with what I had, God intervened.

We use Natural Family Planning as our method of birth control, and occasionally we cut the timing a little tight, so I always knew there would be the possibility of getting pregnant. Sometimes we are very careful and follow the rules strictly, and other times, desire just gets in the way. This was not necessarily one of those times, though when I look back on my chart, even though we did follow the rules, we were right on the verge of them. I really believed in my heart that even if we did accidentally get pregnant one day, I would be ecstatic and welcome the pregnancy with joy. But my feelings are not what I thought.

Positive pregnancy testI’m not upset by this pregnancy, but I’m not exactly excited either. At first we were just stunned. I took a test on a whim (I had a collection of internet cheapies in the drawer in the bathroom). I wasn’t even late yet. But we were about to go to the beach for the weekend and I had this fleeting thought that if I happened to be pregnant, I wouldn’t have to pack any feminine products. So I took one of the tests fully expecting a negative result so I could finish packing the necessary supplies. But when that second pink line showed up on the test strip, my whole body went numb. I just couldn’t believe it.

9 week ultrasound picture

Baby at 9 weeks

I felt shocked and in disbelief for the next couple weeks. Then at 6 weeks the morning sickness hit and I began to believe it a bit more. And and at 9 weeks I had an ultrasound and saw and heard the little one’s powerful rhythmic heartbeat and I couldn’t be in denial any longer. Since then, I’ve continued to grow (nearly 6 inches in my waist already!), developed the worst acne of my life, and have slowly been adjusting to the circumstances. I suppose I feel happy now that a new little one is coming into our family, but it feels like just another ordinary (albeit huge) event is about to happen. I almost feel indifferent, but it’s not in a cold way–just a “this is life” way.

I’m not too worried about my feelings. I felt pretty disconnected from the early part of my pregnancy with Reid due to my previous miscarriage, and that turned out just fine. I imagine once I start feeling this little one moving around, I will get one step closer to joy. And when we begin the preparations for this baby’s arrival, I will get closer still. And I am confident that by the time this child makes its appearance, we will be overwhelmed with adoration and wonder–just as we were with Daniel and with Reid.

But for now we are still journeying to that place. And I think we are content to be travelers for the next several months.

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It took 14 months, but I’m back and with PICTURES

Holy monkeys! Is it possible that 14 months have gone by WITHOUT A SINGLE POST?! Good Lord… does that not show my procrastinating side, or what? I started a post in July of last year (2010) but never got around to finishing it. It describes my problem well, though, so I couldn’t bring myself to delete it, or ignore it, or even re-write it. Here it is word-for-word:

It’s been three months since my last post. Oy! It’s not that I didn’t have enough to say (could that be possible?), it’s that I’m stupidly addicted to Facebook and email and other internet time-suckers. Tonight, I sat down at 9 with the intention of devoting my time to blogging, but it’s now nearly 10 and I’ve only just now gotten to it. This is not just an I’m-addicted-to-the-internet problem. This is a problem I’ve written about before. It’s a kids-are-in-bed-so-I’m-going-to-do-whatever-I-want-and-shirk-my-responsibilities problem. Blogging isn’t really a responsibility per se, but it is the way I keep family and friends updated about the boys. It’s also a great way for me to journal about my life. I regularly find myself looking back and reading posts I wrote 2 or 3 years ago.

This morning I was lucky to be able to sleep in until about 9:45. Daniel had  spent the night with Dan’s parents and Reid, for whatever reason, didn’t wake up until 10. But usually I am up around 8 after having gone to bed around 1 that morning. And because Reid still sleeps with us, he nurses throughout the night. He is nothing like Daniel was. He just wakes long enough to latch on and falls right back into a deep sleep. So I barely even notice that it’s happened sometimes. Still, my sleep is broken, and not nearly long enough. So by the time the kids are in bed, I’m so drained of any “doing stuff” energy, that I just plop down and zone out. Even writing about what’s been going on seems like too much work.

Exhaustion coupled with procrastination and my kids-are-in-bed-so-I’m-going-to-do-whatever-I-want-and-shirk-my-responsibilities problem makes for a bad atmosphere for blogging.

What makes today different? It’s the middle of the day and BOTH of my children are napping… or at least they are both laying down quietly in bed. A few days ago, I got overwhelmed with Daniel needing me every second of his life, so I insisted that he lay in his bed while his piano music plays (the music we play for him at night when he goes to bed). I told him he could get up once the music was over. It was heavenly. Today is fourth day of imposed rest, and I am thoroughly enjoying this much-needed time to myself while still feeling some energy.

I wish so deeply that I had continued to blog over these last many months, but there’s nothing I can do about that. Instead of trying to play catch-up by writing about the last 14 months by memory, I’ll do something unprecedented in this blog’s history. I’ll add some photographs! I’m not sure why I didn’t add any in the past, except that perhaps I wanted my readers to appreciate the written form and not just visit my blog for the pictures, or perhaps it was because I didn’t want to bother with the formatting. Whatever the reason, I’m over it. So please enjoy.

reid pre-haircutReid Pre-Haircut

July 2010: Reid got his first haircut. I spiked his hair in this picture so you could see how long it actually was before I started cutting.

Reid Post-Haircut

July 2010: And here is Reid after the haircut.

Nicole and Daniel in Hawaii

August 2010: Daniel and I in Maui for our annual visit.

Reid eating yogurt

September 2010: Notice how Reid's chin and mouth are covered in yogurt as he attempts to feed himself. He is 16 months old in this picture. He still eats yogurt the exact same way today at 25 months old. See the final picture in this post for a comparison.

Daniel and his friends at Halloween

October 2010: This year we formed a preschool co-op with a few friends. We met at each others' houses once/week for a short preschool class. My weeks fell over Halloween, so we had a costume party. Aren't the kiddos SO adorable?!

Finley, Daniel and Reid getting ready for trick-or-treating

October 2010: In the past we haven't made a big deal about trick-or-treating. We went to a couple houses last year and Daniel was happy. This year, however, we were invited to our friends' house for Halloween and trick-or-treating. Their neighborhood was amazing--decorations and trick-or-treaters everywhere! I hadn't seen that much Halloween spirit since I was a kid. I honestly thought it just didn't exist anymore! The kids had a lot of fun, but we ended up with SO much candy. There is still candy sitting in the bucket on top of the fridge.

Daniel kissing a birdie

November 2010: We took a field trip with our Holistic Moms Network group to a small petting zoo/farmlet in Altadena called Danny's Farm. Daniel didn't really like many of the animals, but he loved the little baby chicks. Reid loved all the animals and wanted to chase them all around.

Reid with birdie

November 2010: I had a difficult time getting Reid to put the chicks down. And when he did put them down, he did so a little roughly. Once I caught him throwing one of the chicks! Luckily he's short so the bird didn't have far to go and it landed in a big pile of fluff in its enclosure and wasn't hurt. But I was diligent in watching Reid around the chicks after that!

Reid in a popcorn can

December 2010: For awhile Reid had a tendency to wedge himself into tight spaces. I found him in a drawer he had emptied in the bathroom, inside the laundry basket, between the nightstand and the bed, and once, even IN the dryer (with the door open, thank G-d!). This particular day, he managed to wedge himself in to the (empty!) popcorn tin. That boy!!!

Daniel and Reid on Christmas morning

December 2010: For the majority of Christmas morning, we were all in our pajamas. This picture was taken just as we were about to head over to Dan's parents' house for Mickey-head waffles and more gifting.

Preschool co-op at Hanson Distributing Company

March 2011: We took several field trips with our preschool co-op. One of them was to the Hanson Distributing warehouse for a tour. The kids had a great time and we had a fun picnic on the grass outside afterward.

Dan Sr, Reid and Daniel at the Derby Days race in Arcadia

April 2011: For the last few years Dan Sr (Dan's dad) has been running in the Santa Anita Derby Days race. Daniel usually runs in the little kids race, too. This year, we signed up Reid and got him his own number and everything.

Dan Sr and Daniel running the Derby Days race

April 2011: Dan Sr usually runs with Daniel in the race. We were hoping this year Daniel would be able to run without holding grandpa's hand, but he insisted. Maybe next year he'll be able to run it on his own.

Mom and Reid running the race

April 2011: Reid started the race running with his Aunt Laurie so I could take video of him. But as soon as he saw me, he insisted that I go with him instead. He wanted to be picked up several times, but I was able to keep him motivated enough to finish on his own two feet. There were many oooooohs and aaaaaaaahs over his tiny adorableness running the race. I think that's mostly why we signed him up.

Daniel with a girl

April 2011: Both my kids love to ride the metro. On this particular day we decided to ride the metro down to South Pasadena. We were sitting in a little outdoor patio area eating snacks and treats. At the table next to us was another family. Both Daniel and the little girl from the other table were more interested in watching the trains go by than sitting still at their tables. They didn't much talk to each other, but the sat together for a good 10 minutes.

Daniel hunting eggs

April 2011: This year's Easter egg hunt was by far the best hunt we've had for the kids. We hid several dozen eggs and both my boys and their cousin Dylan ran around squealing and giggling as they searched for eggs. I'm already looking forward to next year's hunt.

Reid and Dylan hunting for eggs

April 2011: Reid and his cousin Dylan mastered the egg hunt like old pros. They both found a bunch of eggs and had so much fun doing it.

Family at Easter

April 2011: Here we are with Dan's family on Easter Sunday. Daniel isn't so thrilled with having to stand still for a picture.

Dan and Daniel at Newport

April 2011: Dan's parents took a week-long vacation in Newport Beach. We drove down for the weekend and spent one of our days there at the beach. Reid is still scared of the ocean, and cried every time Daniel and Dan went down to play in it. I hope he gets over his fear when we go to Hawaii in August!

Daniel hitting the ball

May 2011: This was Daniel's first hit at his first t-ball game. That's his "coach" behind him. All the games were pure chaos--the first game of the season in particular. Get a bunch of 3-5 year-olds together, and you can expect nothing less. No runs, outs, fouls, anything were ever recorded, and I don't even know if it would have been possible to do so. The game was that chaotic. The fielders would dogpile on the ball anytime it came remotely near them, or they were staring out into the distance not paying attention at all. Everyone had a great time, though, and that was the point.

Daniel and the goon squad

May 2011: This was the "last day of preschool" party we threw for the co-op. You wouldn't know it by the picture, but the kids are playing red light, green light. One of the moms threw in a twist where purple light meant act like a goof ball. Daniel is particularly good at that.

Daniel, me and Reid at the Arboretum

June 2011: Dan and I took the boys to the Arboretum earlier this month. We all had a great time running around and spying for peacocks.

Reid gets a car

June 2011: Give Reid a car, you will win his heart. This kid is obsessed with matchbox cars. He can't go anywhere without at least one or two of them clutched in his hands. If I forget to put a handful of cars in my bag when we go out, we are in trouble. This particular car was a gift from grandma and grandpa.

Daniel blowing out his birthday candles

June 2011: Daniel's 5th birthday party theme was Cave Exploring. He is really into caves since he's been watching the caves chapter of the Planet Earth series of movies. I'm not sure if you can see it on the cake, but I painted a chocolate cave with some bats flying around it. I made the cake from scratch and it actually turned out really good. I've always had a hard time making regular ol' cake. I'm good at most other baked goods, but for whatever reason, I usually struggle with cake.

Reid at the cave opening

June 2011: Here is Reid at the mouth of the cave system I built in the back yard for the party. I set up several card tables and draped them with black plastic tablecloth material. I taped stalactites made of newspaper to the bottoms of the tables and made bats out of black balloons and taped them upside down to the plastic material that hung between the tables. The kids loved crawling through it. At the end of the cave I put a bucket filled with dirt in which I buried several dozen plastic bugs. I told them it was bat guano. They believed me for a little while.

Reid looking like the Joker with dirt in his face

June 2011: As these brothers do, Daniel and Reid had a little spat and Daniel threw dirt at Reid. We scrambled to get this picture before we realized that Reid was really upset... the dirt was actually IN his eyes, not just around them, and in his mouth, too. But he does look like the Joker, doesn't he?! I'm glad we caught this on the camera, even though I feel bad we didn't attend to him right away.

Reid eating yogurt

June 2011: And as I promised, here is Reid with yogurt all over his face (and hands, this time!). If anything, he's gotten worse at eating the stuff. He does a really good job feeding himself more solid food, but even though he now knows to hold over his bowl and open his mouth really wide, it still ends up everywhere.

And there you have it–the last 14 months in photographs. I had a lot more I wanted to add, but this post was getting so long already. I promise to post regularly again, and I’ll continue to post pictures as well. I’ve missed blogging and can’t wait to get back to it.

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