Sunday, May 08, 2016

Mother's Day and other photos

20 weeks pregnant with all my kiddos. Luke is making a weird face, but considering I had to do some sweet-talking to get him out of his pajamas and into a sort-of nice outfit (he was not feeling well and stayed home from church) I am pretty darn happy with this photo! Every Mother's Day I beg for one good photo and this is by far the best we've ever managed--hah!

Such a nice Mother's Day today--I slept in until 8:30 (after going to bed at 8 PM--I was pretty darn tired after the 4 am wakeup for yesterday's race!) and Neil made his delicious cinnamon rolls for breakfast with extra-decadent cream cheese frosting...ooh la la! The two little boys weren't feeling well so I took just the 3 oldest to church and everyone was sooo quiet and well-behaved without a Nathan climbing all over the pew. :-) Isaac and Jules both snuggled up to me through the entire meeting (Isaac does this darling thing where he either puts his arm around my shoulders or plays with my hair--I think he's picked it up from watching Neil). And after church the kids all played happily outside in Nathan's sandbox and Neil and I talked nonstop for an hour while we made a delicious dinner which everyone then ate happily without ANY complaints (um, hello, this is AMAZING! It was this recipe if you want to try it out yourselves...we halve the sauce and serve it with lots of brown rice and veggies).

And then after dinner we had time for a delightful walk through my favorite woods. It was much cooler than the humid heat-fest we had yesterday (seriously, go figure, the only day it's been above 50 in the last 2 weeks and it spiked up to 78 for race day) and absolutely gorgeous. As Natie remarked, "the woods smell like a million flowers!" Beautiful day.

A few random pictures I pulled from my Facebook posts. Apologies for the cross-postings, but I have so little free time these days that the lengthy process of finding the right cord for my iPad to the computer, downloading everything, reformatting and resizing, uploading just takes so long that I put it off forever, and I'd rather document what I can rather than putting it off because it can't be perfect.

One night Luke and I were bored and so we decided to see how many tiny ponytails we could fit into his hair. He then told me he was a porcupine (left) and a moose (right). Good golly I love that kid's sense of humor. Everyone else has had at least three haircuts since the last time we cut his hair, but his is so fun and fluffy and wavy that we're just letting it do its thing.

Last week the girls and I took this photo before church. A little fish-eyed effect going on there with them, I think, but I sure love those faces! Abigail in particular is growing up so fast. We've been in the throes of middle-school prep the last couple of weeks (just finished all the band paperwork and now on the hunt for a clarinet teacher!) and it's starting to really sink in that she is about to launch out into yet another big milestone that takes her just a bit farther away. So many chats lately where I realize how mature and thoughtful she is becoming.

Last weekend we were finally able to have Abigail's friends over for her belated party! Juliet got sick midweek and I was SO worried we were going to have to cancel her party again--thankfully she was better by Thursday afternoon so we had 36 hours of fever-free people before any guests came over. Then Neil came home Friday after I had dinner going and told me quietly that he didn't feel very well...he valiantly built a fire, hung up the pinata, and then quietly went back into the house and threw up a few times before falling asleep on our bed. Oh boy! Kind of some unanticipated excitement, but all the kids were super well-behaved and my fears of having only one adult in attendance didn't come to fruition (I was picturing someone falling into the fire the minute I looked away, so I stayed pretty darn close to that fire and appointed myself the neurotic guardian of "where are all the marshmallow sticks?").

Abigail's friends are all lovely, kind, and sweet girls. Two of her three closest friends will be going to different schools next year, so it was wonderful to have one last hurrah with these awesome girls. I love having them over as they are all kind to each other, endlessly patient with the younger children, and unfailingly respectful to me. Just a really sweet bunch and I am so sad to see them split up next year! One especially nice moment from the night was when Abigail told me later (after everyone had gone home) that it was so great to have everyone over at home because that meant that Juliet could be there too, whereas she isn't able to play with them at recess or at the other girls' houses. Jules just lit up when she heard that--I am so grateful for the strong friendship and love between my girls. They still do their fair share of bickering, but they are really becoming an inseparable team.

Speaking of which, we found out we are adding another boy to our family! The boys were thrilled; the girls were sad--as Abigail told me, they really wanted a little girl to dress in ruffly dresses and put sparkly things in her hair. I admit that I was unexpectedly emotionally as well; I was pretty sure going into the ultrasound that it was a boy, based on heart rate (both the girls were over 160 and all the boys were below 150). But when the tech announced literally 10 seconds in that it was a boy, I felt a few tears well up in my eyes and I was really having a hard time the rest of the day. I was SO grateful for my dear sister, who texted me later to ask how I was doing, and mentioned in her text that she had been sad with both of her ultrasounds simply because it meant saying goodbye to the possibility of life with the potential child of the other gender--even though it opened one door, it closed another for that pregnancy. That was a perfect description of how I was feeling and it helped me so much to contextualize my emotions. Just thought I'd share that in case it helps anyone else. :-)

And speaking of darling sweet boys we're so thrilled to have in our family, is this cherub not adorable? Goodness, I love him so much. He is the sunshine of my life these days--my constant companion while everyone else is in school. He's quite fond of the jogging stroller and about half of my miles these days are logged with him--I usually run much farther with him than I'd planned to simply because he sweet-talks me into detouring to see a particular construction site/parked schoolbus/etc. I kind of can't believe how much I'm still running with this pregnancy (a half-marathon at 20 weeks? Are you kidding me?!) and it's mostly due to that little Nathan egging me on to 6-8 miles on our MWF runs which makes a long weekend run seem like cake if I'm not pushing the stroller!

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