Friday, February 7, 2014

Covered In Kid

I want to make sure I keep this space somewhat current.  I am not sure how many readers are left, beyond the loyal few, but I also know that when I was dragging myself through the worst of my infertility days, it was the blogs like these that gave me hope; blogs like these, that began in such despair, and yet ended with such happiness. 

I started this blog in 2006.  EIGHT YEARS AGO.

I'm going to be real honest here.  When I came to this blog, all of those years ago, I was one hot mess.  I was barely making it through each day.  While I tried to make light of my insanity, I was probably hovering uncomfortably close to the DSM-IV definition of street rat crazy.

And adding honesty to brutal honesty? 

This blog saved me.

It was a turning point of sorts.  It was a place for me to vent.  A place for me to receive support.  A link to others out there with stories like mine.  Or maybe not like mine at all, but yet all too familiar.  Perhaps we all had somewhat different stories, with varying degrees of tragedies, but we all had a similar theme.  We were all mothers-in-waiting, families incomplete, broken-hearted, empty-armed, and searching for reason amongst insanity.

Before I started this humble blog, I felt alone.  Most of my friends had abandoned me in search of more cheerful pastures.  Looking back now, I cannot say that I blame them. After all, most conversations with me centered around the rather uncomfortable topic of death.  I was either miscarrying, pregnant-but-about-to-miscarry, or recovering from a miscarriage for two years.  TWO YEARS.

And, unlike some people, perhaps more stoic than me, I refused to remain silent.  I would not let my precious babies slip from my womb with no more than a plop in the toilet and a rift in my heart.  NO.  If you were going to know me, if you were going to walk that path with me, you would know about my babies.  About my nine angels and their all-too-short, difficult-to-define lives (difficult for others to define, I had no issue with defining them).  They didn't have birthdays.  They had empty, meaningless, never-fulfilled due dates (meaningless to others, yet with all of the meaning in the world to me), scratched out ultrasound dates on a calendar. 

The agony of infertility is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.  It was my waterloo.  It altered me forever, defined me for years, and, even today, when with my three RLBs piled on me as I type this, it has shaped the mother that I am.

These babies are here today.  They are five, three, and one.  They love me with a ferocity and purity that humbles me to my very core.  I love them with a ferocity and purity that they will not understand until they are parents themselves.  They are miracles, as are all children.  But I do sometimes wonder if my foray into the dark world of recurrent miscarriage hasn't made me just a bit more aware of the true wonder they are.  It certainly has made me a grateful Mama and at times, when my patience wears thin and I find myself longing for just one moment to myself, I remember all of the countless moments that I had to myself, where my heart ached for just one moment of this.  And I dig deep within me, and pull out just a tiny bit more patience.  Not that I am perfect, mind you, in fact, far from it.  There are times when even recalling the dark days of infertility can't bring out an ounce more patience, Mama is DONE.  And I have learned to accept that is okay, too. 

Parenthood after infertility is a bizarre world.  I am certainly no longer what you could call an infertile.  Nope.  I have been a "melon belly" three times over.  I have had three births.  Three newborns.  Three infants.  Now I have two preschoolers and one toddler.  My arms are stuffed to overflowing, my heart exploding in love.  Yet I still feel the ache of those precious babies that I will never hold in my arms.  I wonder, too, about the embryos we will never use.  My babies are all very similar in appearance (though very different in personality), so I feel as if I almost know those babies I will never hold, because I am graced with the opportunity to hold the ones that I do.  It is at once a comfort and a bit of a heart ache. 

I am also done with having babies.  I will never again have another pregnancy, newborn, sweet nursing session, or a first birthday party, or all of the moments in between.  And although three is definitely the right number for our family, there is a wistfulness in knowing that the baby years are behind me.  I waited so long and so desperately and now they are over.  I am very excited to see what the future holds, as each day brings some new adventure.

Being a mother is everything I thought it would be and nothing I imagined all at once.  It is all encompassing, all consuming, uplifting, and humbling.  I learn from them far more than they will ever learn from me. 

Whenever I sit or lay down (which is actually a rather rare occurrence) these three babies of mine gravitate toward me as the moon pulls the tide.  And I have a rule.  There is always room in my heart and on my lap, and we all shove around and get comfortable, our limbs and hearts a web of love.  Then I say it out loud, "I am covered . . . "

And Will and Emma chorus with me, "In kid."

I am blessed, grateful, amazed, and humbled, to be covered to be in kid. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Wow, 2014!!!

So, once again, it has been awhile.

I feel as if I start every blog update that way.  Perhaps because I DO. 

Updates, galore, are due.

ANDREW

Andrew started walking just a few days after his first birthday.  He is still in that cute, almost-drunken-looking baby walk, but I was watching him tonight and realized that is melting away into a more experienced gait.  It makes me at once incredibly proud, happy, and wistful to watch my final baby become less and less of a baby every day.  He truly is growing up so fast; I blame Will and Emma.  They show him new tricks every day, and all three of them are so darn proud to show us his new talents. 

He can say just a few words, far less than his older siblings could at this stage, but still in a normal range.  He also clearly understands pretty much everything we say to him.  He can follow simple directions, "Please give me this", "Please put this toy away", "Go to your room so we can get dressed", etc.  I feel as if he listens and follows directions far better than they did when they were his age.  He STILL hasn't said Mama, but I wait (not so patiently).

He is still the world's most cuddly boy.  I have called him my Velcro baby from day one and the nickname is still very appropriate. He gives real hugs and lays his head so tenderly against the person or animal he is loving on. 

He eats like a little piggy, pretty much anything and everything.  He still has a forbidden bottle of half milk/half formula at bedtime, but is using a sippy cup for everything else.  He never was a binky baby, but he decided his blanket would be his comfort item of choice at about 11 months.  He carries it everywhere with him and it is pretty darn cute.

EMMA

She still wins the award for easiest child ever.  I have even gotten to the point where I say it without wondering if I have jinxed myself.  Seriously, it is a good thing that I have more than one child to keep me humble.  If I only had Emma, I would be an obnoxious mom who thought that she had all of the answers.  It is truly that Emma just makes parenting look easy.  She is sweet, yet has a spirited side.  She is smart, but not a know it all.  She loves her family and is very attached to us, but is also independent.  She loves school.  She loves going to her Gramma's house.  She loves playing with her friends.  She does her chores with no argument (seriously, we rarely even have to remind her, she just does them). 

If I had any worry about Emma, it is that she is SO good that she sometimes gets a bit lost in the shuffle between her two needy brothers.  But I am aware of this potential pitfall and make sure we spend time together.  Tomorrow morning, I am taking her to my hair stylist for her first ever hair cut (sniff, sniff).  Her hair isn't even really that long, but it is curly and a bit wild, so I am hoping for some styling tips and a bit of shaping. 

She loves anything animal. . . cats are a favorite.  She loves stuffed animals ("stuffies") that she can snuggle with.  She likes to play vet and doctor her animals.  She went through a major Batman phase this fall and early winter.  We bought her a pair of Bat PJs (complete with Velcro-on cape) and she would wear no other jammies for about two months.  Seriously, we had to buy a back up pair, and one pair wore out at the seams, so we had to buy a third pair.  At one point, I was looking back over my FB photo stream and realized that she was wearing a pair of Bat Jammies in each and every picture. 

She is over the Bat obsession now, though she still likes the jammies every now and then.  She also likes me to lay down with her at night while she falls asleep.  It is one of my favorite times of the day.
Last night, I was laying down with Em before bed and rubbing her back.  I said, "Goodnight my precious Emma."  She whispered back, "Goodnight my precious Mommy."  Heart. Melted.

WILL

Little Man.  Not so little any more.  He is five and in pre-K.  He will start kindergarten next year.  He is SUCH a big boy now.  I can hardly recognize him some days.

He is an amazing big brother.  He LOVES Andrew and I am pretty sure he would take a bullet for him.  He has, in fact, stepped in the line of fire on several occasions to stop another kiddo from hitting or throwing something at "his" baby.

I was talking to my MIL today and mentioned that probably my favorite quality he has is that he doesn't seem to get jealous of other people's fortunes.  For example, we got Emma the coolest bed EVER off of craigslist for a steal.  He was so purely excited for her.  This is not to say that he wouldn't have wanted the same bed for himself (this is a cool bed, people), but he never acted jealous or upset.  He just helped M put it together for her and then played happily with her in it.  If a friend has a new toy, he will act very excited for them, but never pouts or asks for the toy for himself.  It is a neat (and rare) trait.

He is also completely selfless at times to the point where it amazes me.  Last week, we were driving down to my parents house three hours away for Christmas.  We stopped for ice cream after the three hour drive turned into a four hour drive and we weren't there yet.  I gave the kiddos the choice of a milkshake or hot fudge sundae.  Will picked sundae and Emma picked milkshake.  Well.  When Will's sundae came, it was a thing of beauty, complete with mounds of whipped cream and a cherry.  Emma's shake, while perfectly fine, paled in comparison.  She sadly sipped at her dessert while he joyfully ate a couple of bites, clearly loving his delectable treat.  And then. . . he slid the sundae across the table to his sister and said, "You can have it Emma." He didn't mean that she could have just a bite.  Nope.  He gave her the entire thing.  They ended up sharing it (and bonus! I got the milkshake), because it was huge, but he would have let her have it if she had wanted all of it.  I couldn't contain my pride.

ME

I survived the three weeks away for training (it was ROUGH to put it mildly) and have been settling into my new job.  I love my boss and teammates and the company is a good fit for me.  Changing jobs was difficult, but it was only after I was gone that I truly realized how toxic my former position had become for me.  It is way too much drama to go into here, and it's over anyway, but let's just say it was time for me to move on and I was very fortunate that I found an even better situation to move to. 

Not only is my professional life settling down nicely, but our home life is doing much better, too.  Things kind of got off the rails there for awhile, as we had to let our first nanny, Mary Poppins go in June.  It was another thing that I won't bore you with because there was a LOT leading up to it and it wasn't a decision that we made lightly.  She had truly been a wonderful nanny for us at first, but three kids was more than she had bargained for, especially a newborn.  She also had some personal problems and basically had a nervous breakdown.  We wanted to (and tried to be) supportive, but when she came to work drunk, we had to fire her.  Fortunately, we were able to part ways surprisingly amicably (I think she was relieved, honestly).  We then had another nanny start, and it was a disaster.  She only worked for us for five weeks and then we had to let her go.  It was rough as the kids really liked her (she was a lot of fun, with craft projects every day, but she had a problem with showing up for work on time. . . or at all and lied to us about a few major things so it was a no-go).  As any mom knows, when you don't have reliable childcare, it isn't an exaggeration to say it is a crisis.  We had to do some serious juggling for a few weeks to find ways to make it all work and I almost had my own nervous breakdown, but we made it through.  

Fortunately, we now have our current nanny.  She has been with us since the end of August and is amazing.  The kiddos love her.  She is the oldest of eight kids, so she takes our family's craziness in stride.  I don't think that I have ever seen her ruffled. She is very sweet and affectionate with them and genuinely seems to love and care about them.  They love her and run to her every morning with hugs and kisses and are sad to see her go in the evening.  Even Andrew, who is going through a mommy phase right now, goes easily to her and is very content.  Most mornings when I leave for work, they are so happy and content they barely notice I am leaving.  It is so wonderful knowing they are in good hands while I am away.  She had some time off at Christmas and they talked about her a lot and were glad when she was back. As a bonus, she keeps our house immaculate and does extra projects around the house "just because". I came home today and she had cleaned the refrigerator. I mean CLEANED it.  She had taken the shelving and drawers out, scrubbed it down inside and out, then reorganized everything.  It looks brand new.  This, by the way, is by no means anything that we expect of her.  Her responsibilities are the kids, period.  That includes cleaning up after making them meals and such, and directing them to clean up their rooms and play areas to teach them to be responsible and clean up after themselves.  But we have a biweekly cleaning service to handle the major cleaning and I make it a point to never leave a sink full of dishes for her or any big messes (and I am proud to say that I manage this most days).  But she likes to clean and takes pride in "making my life easier".  I don't know how I would live without her.  I just pray she never leaves.

REBECCA

I had the delight and honor of throwing Rebecca's baby shower in October.  I outdid myself.  I'm not even kidding.  I had two people who attended the shower contact me later to ask if I was a professional party planner and would I do a party for them (possible dream job down the line)?  I put so much love and attention into everything, I even amazed myself and can't be humble about the results.  I wanted it to be perfect, after everything she had been through, and. . . it was.  There wasn't one thing that I would do differently, except to do it all again.  It was so much fun to be part of it all.

She did amazingly well through the end of her pregnancy, only needing bed rest at the very end.  She was in labor for 36 hours and had to push for two, but at long, long last, Rebecca gave birth to her daughter on her due date - December 8, 2013.  She was 7 lbs., 8 oz, and I got to see her the day she was born.  I am in love with this child.  She is beautiful, sweet, perfect, and HEALTHY.  They have been settling it at home, and beyond the usual struggles of adjusting to life with a newborn, things have gone very smoothly.  She had a bit of a rough start, but breastfeeding is going well now, and she is feeling pretty good.  Of course, she is in love with her baby girl, and it is wonderful to see her so at peace after everything she endured to get here.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Wow, that was a lot.  I think I covered the major things.  Oh, on the second day of my three week work trip, our Nanny was doing laundry upstairs.  When she came downstairs with the kiddos, they played in the playroom for a bit, and then she came into the living room. . . where a flood of water greeted her.  The washer had leaked, through the hall and ceiling, downstairs into our living room.  What a disaster.  Thank goodness for homeowner's insurance.  It was thousands of dollars and weeks of work to get it all taken care of.  So, in a public service announcement, I wanted to let you know about these water sensor things that you can buy for not very much money, to put in areas where a leak might be a concern (laundry rooms, bathroom sinks, etc.).  They work very well.  We put them in and then a week ago, our upstairs toilet started leaking.  The alarm worked perfectly and we were able to stop the leak while it was just a puddle in the bathroom.  Money VERY well spent.

So, there you have it.  Life update in a nutshell.

I keep up with most all of you on Facebook, but you are welcome to friend me if we aren't already connected.  That way, I can keep up with YOU, too! 





 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Neglected

Oh, my poor little blog.  Once, this place was my lifeline.  I couldn't imagine visiting and writing here every single day.  I couldn't imagine what my life would be like without my postings here.

And now. . . it sounds trite to say that I am too busy to post, but it is simply the truth.  With a full time career and three children five and under. . . my life is busy, busy, busy.

It is a good busy, a happy busy, a crazy-hectic-filled-with-love-laughter-and-more-busy.

It has been two months since I posted, and a lot has changed here.  Most importantly, I quit my job and started a new one.  As you can imagine, a lot of chaos has ensued with that.  And. . . I leave for training. . . next week. . . and. . . it is three weeks away.

Three.  Weeks.  Away.

All that I have to do, professionally and personally, before embarking on such a trip, is overwhelming to say the least.  Somehow, someway, I will get through it, but it is gonna be dicey.

I return on Andrew's first birthday.

Another topic that throws me for a loop, if you must know.  My third and FINAL (because the good ol' tubes were tied) baby is not a baby for much longer.  He is practically walking, already talking, and eating like an eighteen year old. 

Add to this that Emma recently had her very first day of preschool (which, she was so ready for) and that Will recently turned five. . . and, wow.  Just unbelievable how fast time flies.  Again, so cliché, and yet so very true.  It all goes so fast.

My infertility days seem far behind me in some ways, and yet, I can still remember the dark desperation and sadness of that time.  Which is why I still check in here and keep up with all of you.  I remember. Each and every day, I do remember.

So, this blog might not get as many updates as it once did, but I am still here, still chugging.  And updating when I can.  I hope you are all well.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Amazing Adventure

When your children are little, those whose children have grown are fond of telling you that these are the best days of your life and to enjoy them, because they go so fast.  You are aware that they are correct, but as the old adage goes (and is so often quoted by those same well-meaning strangers in the grocery store as your four year old throws a tantrum because he wanted to get Sponge Bob mac & cheese and you opted for the 3/$1 store brand with plain noodles), "The days are long, but the years are short."

As a mom to three children under five who also has a full-time career, I feel as if I spend most of my time just barely keeping up.  It isn't that I don't enjoy these moments; I do.  I can feel them slipping through my fingers at a pace that increases by the day and I know that soon these days will be in the past, a distant, sleep-deprived memory.  Try as I might to hold on to the little things that make each day count, I find myself slipping into a groove, and days go by without me really getting to stop and take note of the passage of time.

Then there are days like today.  My sweetest little Project As If, Emma Grace, turns three years old today.  When I woke up this morning, the realization that three whole years have passed since she was placed in my arms made me stop and think about what that truly means.  In what has seemingly been the blink of an eye, she has gone from that tiny, helpless newborn to a walking, talking, full of spirit pre-schooler.  She is so vibrant, my little girl, so happy, so playful, so funny, so engaging, so. . . perfect.

Her sense of humor and comedic timing is beyond her years.  She has these faces she makes, she mimics people, she has this deep belly laugh that you can't help but join in with.  She is constantly entertaining us.  She is also so incredibly sweet and compassionate.  She is such a good and tender big sister to Andrew, sharing toys and food with him whenever possible.  She loves it when I put him in her crib in the morning or after nap. She will draw him close, sing to him, cuddle him, hand him one of her beloved stuffy.

Speaking of the stuffies. . . oh, my land.  She has never met a stuffy that she didn't want to take home with her.  We have hundreds already.  And she has about a half dozen at each time that she has to take everywhere with her.  This group rotates, although she always has to have her original stuffy, Ellie (a pink and green elephant blanket she has had since she was six months old) as part of the crowd.  Other than that, you can usually find her toting some sort of pony, kitty, and, lately, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (yep, my sweet precious baby loves her some "gingas").

She loves to play veterinarian and you walk into her room to find a makeshift animal hospital.  Tiny Alvin and his chipmunk buddies wrapped lovingly in blankets as Dr. Emma makes her rounds, giving them "shots" and taking their temperatures.  She will look very seriously at me and say, "Mommy, these stuffies are very sick.  I need to take very good care of them."

She calls with "Brova" and, even though they fight a lot, they are also often best friends, united against the world.  Often, when they are arguing over a toy, I will step in on her behalf, and she will then turn around and defend Will, even though he was usually the aggressor.  When he gets hurt, she is the first to come running with a hug and kiss. 

From day one, Emma has been the definition of easy.  Had she been my only child, I would have been an insufferable mom, who thought she had it all figured out.  She is pure sunshine and brings such joy to our lives.  I truly cannot imagine my world without Emma in it.

And yet, on days like today, celebrating her third year in our family, it makes me realize how truly quickly it has all gone and continues to go.  I am reminded that I do not have forever with her like this, where I am her world and she is mine.  I have great hopes for our future, that we will have a good relationship, that we will always have this ease between us.  I am also realistic enough to know that if I do a good job parenting her, eventually she will not need me, and I will shrink from being the center of her life to a marginal bit player. 

This is a bit melancholy of a birthday entry, and I don't mean it to be that way, truly.  I am so happy to be Emma's mommy that it makes my heart feel as if it might burst.  I am so happy to dedicate a day to celebrating her amazingly little self.  My children's birthdays have always induced this feeling in me, this realization that they are growing up and away, and that I will never have these moments back.  While I am glad to see them growing, thriving, and maturing into amazing little people, there is a tiny (admittedly selfish) part of me that wishes I could just have them like this, here with me, forever.

Then, as another day draws to a close, I have to admit that I am also excited to see who she continues to grow into.  She is such a spectacular and amazing person now, I can't even begin to imagine the force she will continue to be as she grows older.  It will certainly be an amazing adventure.








  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

For Rebecca

Her 13 week NST ultrasound (after four ultrasounds showing two babies with perfect measurements and perfect heartbeats) showed one perfect baby and one baby that died.

She is devastated.  I am at a loss.  It is beyond the scope of my understanding why some people suffer so terribly much in their journey to become parents.  Honestly, with her life-threatening issues thrown in, she has suffered more than most I know.  I just don't  get it.  I suppose it isn't up to me to "get".

Please keep Rebecca, her husband, and their remaining baby in your prayers.  They need it.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another Long Overdue Update

Seems that once a month is about all I can handle with posting these days.  I think about all of you often, and check on all of my sweet bloggy friends as often as I can.  Again, most of the time that is from my phone and I cannot comment, but know that you are all in my heart and prayers.

Gosh. . .  where to begin? 

Well, let's start with a Rebecca update.  This is such fun!!  Rebecca is back at work!  She can't wear high heeled shoes and often has to take a break to regain equilibrium, but considering where she was a year ago?  The fact that she is even alive is a big miracle.  Oh. . . and?  She is 13 weeks pregnant. . . WITH TWINS after IVF!!!!  Oh, the joy!  I am throwing her baby shower in July and feel so blessed to do so!  She deserves all of this and more!  And I cannot WAIT to hold those babies in my arms!

Now. . . let's start with Drew, since third baby shouldn't always be last.  He is amazing.  At seven months, he tops the charts at 21 pounds.  He is rolls and upon rolls of delectable chub.  His smile is the sweetest thing you have ever seen.  He can sit up, roll, and he gets up on his hands and knees and rock back and forth.  I see crawling in his immediate future.  He is sleeping 10-12 hours each night, with a rare night of wakeups thrown in to keep me guessing.  Napping is still a bit of kilter, but I honestly think that is the result of lack of schedule during the day, and he is cheerful enough without the naps, so it works okay.  I am still nursing him most mornings and evenings (twice a day).  We have switched to solids and formula for the rest.  I am learning to be okay with that.

Emma next!  Sweet, beautiful, spunky Emma Drace.  As she is nearly three, I am a bit dreading the coming birthday.  You see, that is when the switch was flipped on Will, and I do worry that she might give us a real run for our money at three.  So far, she has been almost angelic.  She is a spitfire, but she is also very sensitive.  I don't need to employ a lot of heavy handed discipline with her to get the point across.  She is STILL not potty trained (again, I fear it is a lack of consistency) and still has her beloved binky at night, but she is very grown up in most other ways.  She is so sweet and kind and I love that girl to absolute pieces.

And my not-so-Little Man?  He is nearing five (how on earth did that happen. . . ) and he has settled a bit.  Six months ago, I would have said it was military school or bust with him.  He is doing much better, thank goodness.  We are still doing some testing for sensory processing issues and just making sure everything is a-okay, but so far, so good.  He graduates from pre-K this coming week and I just cannot believe how fast this has all come to pass.  His heart is still SO big.  For example, Emma sprained her ankle tonight, and he came running with all of her favorite stuffies (and the aforementioned Illicit Binky).  He can just be so sweet and those are the moments where I know, despite my parening fallibles, he will be okay.

Me?  I have some new changes to face.  I will update when I can, but just know, I am chugging along.  Being a working mom takes a lot of balance and I am striving for that balance each and every day.  I do find things that help here and there and some day, I will have to write that post.

But not today.  Today, I thank you for still reading and commenting here and while I cannot promise to post more, I will do my best.  Love to you all!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Time Flies

Wow.  It has been so long since my last update.  As has become my habit as of late, I have very good intentions of sitting down to blog.  But once all three kiddos are finally down for the night, laundry, dishes in the sink, or a million other household duties to see to call my name.  If I miraculously have no chores (or, more likely, choose to ignore the fact that I have them to do), then a bath might entice me.  More often than not, however, it is the lure of my bed that I can't ignore. 

So that explains my absence.  Sleep is truly the holy grail of parenthood.  Now that Drew has settled into a schedule that includes roughly ten to twelve hours of precious sleep each night (knock. firmly. on. wood.), I am making the most of it and blogging has fallen woefully to the wayside.

But we are still here, chugging along.  We all had a ROUGH respiratory virus in March that resulted in pneumonia for M and Will.  Fortunately, Drew was the least affected, and I didn't get it until about two weeks after everyone had recovered.  Will still has a lingering cough from it, but other than that, we all recovered.

Drew is SIX MONTHS (?!?!?!) old already.  This is truly insane.  I cannot believe how fast he is growing.  He is doing fantastic with eating his solids (no surprise).  He can turn from back to front and front to back, and is thiiiiiis close to sitting up independently.  In fact, he can sit alone, but you can't leave him or he slumps over.  He can skooch himself around a bit, but is nowhere near to crawling.  He has the. best. baby laugh ever.  His voice is deep and kind of scratchy and it just makes the cutest, deep bellied laugh.  He is far more active than either of his older siblings, and actually will put himself to sleep by kicking his legs on the mattress as hard as he can.  We are all head over heals in love with our "Thumper" and I cannot imagine our family without him in it.

Emma is two.  She remains pretty much the easiest child to ever grace this planet.  She has her moments, of course, but she just kind of goes with the flow.  She is so much fun and has a really big personality.  She is funny, smart. sweet, and I just enjoy spending time with her.  The only thing that is hard with her is that because she is SO easy, I sometimes think she gets a bit lost in the shuffle.  It is true that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and she just doesn't squeak.  I try to keep this in mind during the daily hustle and bustle, and right now, I think it is fine, just something that we need to be aware of in the future.

Will is growing up so fast that I can hardly recognize him.  He is obsessed with anything castle.  He loves to draw them or build them.  His creations are beyond amazing.  I know I am his mom and hardly biased, but he seems to be advanced when it comes to drawing.  He has learned a lot in school this year and I am always surprised by things he seems to know out of nowhere.  We have decided to delay his start in kindergarten for another year, so he'll do a second year of pre-K this coming fall.  We went back and forth on this a bit, but he won't turn five until August 20. The cutoff is August 31, so it is our decision.  Academically, he is ready, but socially. . . I just think an extra year won't hurt and his teacher agrees.  He will be REALLY ready in 2014 and I think it will be good have him super prepared.

I am enjoying my job.  I am really very fortunate to be able to do something I love and still have a lot of time for my children.  I am well-paid and extremely spoiled with benefits and perks.  I'll be traveling to Denmark this August which will be my first time to Europe. 

I have all but given up pumping, only nursing Drew in the morning and then the evening when I get home.  I am a little sad that my nursing careeer is dwindling, but pumping was extremely stressful for me.  Trying to find the time for it was one challenge.  I work out of my car all day, so finding a private place to pump was another.  I would strive to find both and then. . . pump only a measly ounce or two.  Meanwhile, Drew was chugging down six and eight ounce bottles two or three times while I was gone.  I felt constantly behind and this stressed me out which dwindled my supple which. . . catch 22.  I am trying to be okay with it and let it go, but it still bothers me a bit just even typing about it here, so I clearly have some processing to do still.

I am having my first post-partum period as a result in this drastic nursing drop.  Ew.  I haven't missed it and the first one is always a little rough.  My periods are usually pretty uneventful with minimal cramping, but I had some killer cramps this time and felt pretty emotional yesterday (right before it started).  Ah, the joys of being a woman! ;)

Well, I think that is the major stuff for now.  I hope all of you are doing well.  I am still checking up on you, though I mostly do it from my phone, which means I can't comment.  But if you ever need me, my e-mail is available through my profile and I am just a few clicks away.  Thanks for reading and checking up on me and my precious little ones. 

Until next time. . .