T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Sunday, August 28, 2016

First Day of School 2016-2017 School Year and Updates

This year T goes into 3rd and S goes into 1st.

We went last week and checked the list to see who they would have as their teachers. T had a big last minute change last year that caused him some stress so this year he did not even want to see the list. after Scouts we took both kids. He said, "Mom, just look at the list for me and I can be surprised at sneak peek." I insisted he see the list. When he did, he was beaming. S got everything she wanted - favorite first grade teacher and her best friend in class. Both were happy campers.

They went the day before school for sneak peek. T was very excited to meet his teacher. He said, "I like her because she has a son named Cooper, which is my favorite name, and she is about your size, Mom" (referring to my petite stature. Yes, we all know if this household I will be the shortest one after the kids are all grown. His teacher just had twin boys in February and he knew that. He told her he was having a baby brother and was super excited about it.

S was also beaming seeing her teacher. She already knows her and was just super excited to officially be a student of hers. She is already loving first grade and is already showing off her helper skills and her super good behavior. Her teachers still don't believe me that she has a "firey" side. She does. Boy, can I go around and around with that girl when she's in a mood. She is stretching my parenting skills and I think I will eventually learn patience being her mom. She is often one of my greatest sources of pride while also one of my greatest feelings of failure as a parent. Some days I'm like, "Hey, I'm rocking this parenting thing. Look at that kid!" The next day I am humbled because of something she did or said which made me feel like an awful parent. I often say it but it bears repeating - parenting is more about my learning and growth than what I will ever teach my children.

Little BB was sad that she did not get to go to school, too, but we had a great day together. She's my little buddy and helper and keeps me company all the time when the older kids are off playing so it worked out nicely. I want to soak up my one-on-one time with her while I can before Baby comes. I don't want her to feel too displaced. She is super special and my own personal sunshine. Everyone that spends any amount of time with her understands that concept of her being sunshine. She is just a happy, goofy soul. She looks a lot like me as a child, too (unlike S who is a clone of my sister). It's nice to have one kid resemble me after all the hard work it is bringing them into this world.

It has been interesting the older kids watching me experience pregnancy. S is convinced she never wants children because she doesn't want to get fat, get big breasts, have stretch marks, have veins, feel ill, get freckles. Oh I get all sorts of fun stuff from pregnant. For the most part, it goes all go back. At least I'm hoping it does like it has in the past. I'm not as young as I used to be so I'm mentally preparing to have to hit the work outs hard but every time she sees another change she says, "More evidence I never want to be pregnant." I remind her that if I had that attitude she would not be here and I also recall never wanting children because they were "sticky, smelly, and annoying". But here I am having a fourth - by choice! So, who knows with that girl.

I'm definitely slowing down and starting to get really grumpy. Seven weeks to go. My labs are all excellent and my weight gain thus far is about 20lbs. I think I'll hit 25-28 lbs total. That's fine. Good fetal movement. There is NO space in my abdomen. Small frequent meals are how I eat. I do have to drink 1-2 cups of green tea a day to keep my blood pressure up (it's low). I cannot tolerate soda so it's my caffeine option and fairly healthy, too. Everyone tells me I look adorable. I so don't feel that way and think they are just being super kind, which I appreciate. It's such a two edge sword - I am happy to be bringing life into this world - a little boy I get to enjoy, cuddle, and watch grow. It will be my last time pregnant and I want to cherish the feeling. However, I am kind of over the pregnancy thing. After four times, I feel I have lived it and cherished it. I am ready to have my body back. I want to be able to play with my kids and chase them and feel energy doing so and not feel like I'm going to pee myself, vomit, or faint. I am dreading childbirth. Been there, done that. I know it's coming. I am just grateful at the end of all of it I get the pleasure of holding this little boy we've all grown to love already.

I have so much to do at work - I have to wrap things for two students who need hours before I go on leave. There's a conference I really want to attend. I have been working on preparations for the baby, too. I bought a few disposable diapers just in case my rental ones don't arrive before the baby does. I think we're going to try half and half this go around. I don't feel I need to be a purest with cloth but I do like saving money and resources with them. Friends have been generously loaning me stuff so I don't have to buy much. I did have to buy a "new" breast pump set up because I gave mine away. It was good to me but it was used when I got it and then it went through three babies I nursed for 2 years each. I'm sure it did not have much left. It will be interesting getting used to a new one. I bet because it's not 10 years old it will work better than my last.

I also purchased a new set of swaddling blankets and "lovey" blankets. I feel each of the kids should have their own since they get so attached. One of my students gave me a "little brother shirt". It's newborn size so I hope it fits but I always try to get a shirt that says something referencing birth order.

Overall, we are doing good. Busy with kid activities and them being in school plus our jobs but we're good. BB has a book that has been teaching her about emotions. When asked "How are you feeling?" She says, "Happy!" Because happy is a feeling. Good is a condition. Well, I'm taking after her. When asked these days with the sad pathetic eyes folks often give me seeing my giant belly, "How are you feeling?" I reply, "Happy". They are not expecting that and I enjoy the surprise. But, indeed, I am feeling happy. One can be uncomfortable and happy at the same time, right?!?

Here are some photos from that first day of school. T said he had to step up his dress code and replaced what I had laid out with a collared shirt. S wanted to wear her dress she got in Maui and little BB had to be like her sister. Last photo - 32/33 weeks.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Maui Family Vacation

It's been 8 years since I've left my beloved home state. My husband and I were talking and basically we figured if we didn't go somewhere now, it would be quite a while before we went anywhere with baby coming soon. Last year we had talked about the Oregon Coast (one of my favorite trips as a young adult). However, you have to book at least 6+ months in advance and since we decided to go on vacation only 2 months ago that was not going to happen. I wanted the kids to see a beach and the ocean. Living in a landlocked state it is something they had never experienced. I also needed easy. I would be 7+ months pregnant at vacation time.

I did some research and all my life I have wanted to go to Hawaii. Talk about a beach and ocean. However, 8 hours on an airplane with 3 small children, that might be asking a lot. But we decided we'd put the new carpet for our home on hold and do a big family vacation anyway. The kids have never been on an airplane so more new experiences for them!

I had been planning to have my life long best friend come up for a summer visit but when we decided on where we were going for vacation we decided she should go on vacation with us instead of a quick 2 day trip during the summer. Plus, it would be nice to have a 1:1 kid/adult ratio at the beach to help with the kids. She was thrilled to go along. (My kid adore her and consider her a surrogate aunt.)

We did not really do much on vacation other than go to the beach and snorkel. We didn't do the Road to Hana or see the volcano. We just wanted to be at the beach. We went every day. We snorkeled every day. We had shave ice as often as possible. We stayed in a 2 bedroom condo on the beach and cooked our own meals to save on costs (we even shopped at Costco while there - our Costco has better hot dogs - just saying). It was all heavenly. There always seemed to be a rainbow in Maui. Even the rain was warm like the ocean water. We saw fish every day. What an epic family vacation! Well worth the 8 years of waiting to get out of the state.

Funny story - T just started Cub Scouts. He was excited for the major service project of going to the local food bank and serving there. It happened to fall on the week we would be gone for vacation. Not knowing where our vacation was he asked us to reschedule our vacation because "we can go to north Idaho any time we want but I cannot serve at the food bank any time." I insisted we could not reschedule and he was pretty bummed with me. Finally we told him we were going to Maui and he really was speechless - mouth open, no words. I wish I had a video of that moment.

All the kids had an amazing time. They LOVED swimming, body surfing, boogie boarding, snorkeling, diving, building sand castles. EVERYTHING. They were just so happy there. The water was warmer than our neighborhood pool and the salty taste did shock the kids, too. I also never got tired of watching them play on the beach. My 6:00 am wake up call every morning was little BB asking, "Can we go to the beach?!?" Then she would head into the bathroom and change into her swim clothes. The sunsets were lovely but I have to say ours are prettier in Idaho. It was like being on an alien planet with different plants and animals and all that humidity. It was refreshing and recharging but it is also wonderful to be back at home!

And we were not without travel adventures. BB developed a viral GI bug on the way home. Six clothing changes in 24 hours in airports. We flew the red eye home and by the 4th change I was done! 7 months pregnant, tired sick toddler, no sleep for me - I was SO done. Not an apex mothering moment but I've never claimed to be perfect. Traveling with kids is not for the weak, that's for sure. Aside from that and one really amazing screaming moment on the flight from Phoenix to Maui where BB decided she wanted off the plane and the flight attendant felt she needed to calm my child for me and I had to ask politely 5 times to be left alone, BB was actually pretty amazing on the plane. The older kids were amazing. S is born to be a world traveler. She carried all her own luggage and backpack the entire time - no complaints and no questions. She was a machine.

Another fun aspect of our trip - the youngest of hubby's older sisters happen to be on Maui at the same time as us. She and Uncle Doc stopped by our beach, played with the kids, boogie boarded, snorkeled and just had a fun morning with us. That was special for all of us. The kids were so surprised when they showed up and had such a great time.

Here are lots of photos. But these are less than 10% of them. We took SO many. So I narrowed it down to the top 40 or so.

Lots of photos of kids on the beach playing. Little BB LOVED shopping so she often was found in a shop with a hat and trying to match a hat with it. T was almost always in the water. S went to a lei making class with her daddy (very charming). I did a bit of snorkeling myself and there's a photo of me at 30 weeks pregnant. Several photos of the Maui Ocean Center, too. Some photos of my best friend who join us - Ms. M. It was such a delight to have her along.

I will say it one last time - such a great time! Epic Family Vacation!!!