Hello, hello. We are all still here and I am actually writing a "for real" blog post! (A veerrrrry long for real blog post.) Woop woop! I suppose that's what happens when you think you're in labor due to seven - YES, SEVEN hours of contractions (this past Sunday)...kind of motivates you to finish off all those little last minute things...like painting the last coat on the closet trim and ironing the last of baby's gowns, etc. And when those things are off the check list, well, hello blog!
That was us this past Sunday. By eleven o'clock that night The Engineer was in a nice button down, my bags were completely packed and I'd put on some fresh makeup. The car was vacuumed, the carseat installed. We were ready to load up and go...and my contractions began to slow down and eventually puttered out completely. I think the children were more disappointed than we were.
Earlier in the summer, the children "camped out" on the floor in Little Man's room...we got them all down and settled for the night, waited a little while and then yelled, "ICE CREAM RUN!!!" And boy did they pep up...came flying down the stairs in pajamas, threw on their shoes, and off we went. It was a fun night!
This summer has been crazy! So much fun. So busy. Lots going on. Lots of people visiting. Lots of projects begun and almost...almost completed.
The girls both celebrated birthdays. For Sister's ninth we made the trip back "home" to our old digs...we stayed with our dear friends with whom we used to be neighbors.
We spent a good chunk of Saturday at the pool with friends.
It was so sweet to see so many precious old friends! Oh we miss them!
Little Man still isn't afraid of the diving board...(despite jumping backwards off this very board and biting clear THROUGH that patch between his bottom lip and chin two years ago)
The children cracked me up...they all intentionally saved their money to buy ice cream at the pool. Some things just need to be savored. And this was a BIG deal!
Happy Birthday sweet Sister!!! You are a treasure! A precious gift from God. It is such an honor to get to be your mama. We love you so much and are so proud of you!
While we were there, we got to walk through our old house. I cannot explain the world of good that did me!!! We love the couple who purchased it and it was such a treat that they let us come back in and walk through and ask questions and check out all they'd done. It's like everything we had planned to eventually tackle, they've either tackled, or have on their "to do" list. They put down hardwoods upstairs...with the bead board we'd installed and everything painted a fresh white - y'all, it looked AMAZING!!! It did my heart good to see how much they love the house and to see their sweet little family settled down there.
Sunday morning a friend picked me up early for breakfast...while waiting, I snuck next door and sat on the porch swing and let my mind drift back...all the babies we brought home there! The memories of laying all that brick...of the fourth of July we spent crouching down bricking that porch and those steps...of my amazement at The Engineer and his skills as he worked that herringbone pattern on the front porch...strapping Little Man to my back while I tilled the front beds and planted boxwood. I wandered over to the sidewalk we'd poured and traced our handprints. It was just a really sweet visit. And I can finally say that I've let her go. I am so happy and thankful for the journey...the family the Lord brought to that house...our time there, etc. He is so gracious and so good to us.
Four days after Sister turned nine, Little Bit turned four. Y'all...it was quite the par-tay! She wanted a "Hello Kitty Dress Up Birthday Brunch" with a puppy dog cake. Ha ha. Mama and my MIL helped dress the dining room for the occasion.
Unfortunately the puppy dog's face - which was made up of 100% icing, pretty much slid off the dog. I mean, the dog was looking pretty rough. (No pun intended.) Mama suggested adding eyes...because the dog's had melted off - or something. So I got out a jar of gum balls and was just about to place some dark colored eyes on when Little Bit came in and insisted the dog have pink gum ball eyes. I mean - the dog looked slightly possessed, but Little Bit thought it was awesome! And that's what mattered!
Her expressions kill me!!!
We ALL dressed up for the party. The Engineer was Clark Kent. Little Man may not have dressed up...I'm struggling to remember now. The girls were "princesses." Little Bit has all these precious pastel dresses...the day of the party, girlfriend came down in a red, cream, and gold dress - complete with holes from years of love. Sigh. She was happy. And wanted her hair in "pink tails." Again - she was happy and it was her big day and we were celebrating her and that is what's important.
Happy Birthday Little Bit! You are a treasure and we love you dearly. We are so proud of you and I am so thankful God made me your mama!!!
The week between the girls' birthdays, our sweet little neighbor from back home stayed with us. His mama and daddy made the drive to pick him up the day of the party. It was so fun to see them again!!! (I'm so hoping she doesn't kill me for posting that pic!) (wink, wink)
Little Bit worked hard and saved her money and bought her own skates!! I cannot believe we've not had an ER trip yet. She's a little more convinced of her abilities than reality would confirm. She's also made a menu and is in training to work at Sonic...on roller skates.
The fourth of July was awesome! We went to the annual neighborhood picnic and parade. Sister got to help hand out balloons. Mama was here that week! It rained EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. We even did yard work in the POURING rain. I'm not complaining. Summertime pregnancy is hot. That rain felt wonderful!
LOVE this girl!
Little Man managed to make several trips back to the house...he needed his bike, scooter, and rip rider. Because, you know, it's not enough to have one mode of transportation when the streets are blocked off and you can ride like a maniac. Truly, I couldn't watch him. He makes my heart race. He rides fast!
He and The Engineer seem to be thick as thieves. I can't tell you how excited Little Man gets every day during math when we go over the calendar...and he figures out how many more days until Daddy will be home for the weekend! Because that typically means some type of project! Here they are making a duct tape case for Little Man's Bible. Awesomeness.
OH this kid. He had a legitimately loose front tooth. There was a lot of drama leading up to the actual extraction...
Shortly after losing it, he and Sister collided and he hit his other front tooth hard on her head...and began working it. And pulled it. And then I caught him working the teeth on either side of the now gaping hole. And I put an end to that. A few days later, he lost another loose tooth. That would be three in a week.
Sister had a friend spend the night and they got breakfast in bed...so the younger two piled in our bed for the same. Nothing like cartoons on the ipad and breakfast in bed.
The hair...the makeup...the dress...the baby...Little Bit is a "mama" and has taken to bathing EVERY SINGLE "baby" she can lay hands on. I'm so on the fence...the mess drives me insane. Water everywhere! And yet she's four and this will pass quickly. So for now...there seems to be a constant pile of "babies drying."
Crazy man. Need I say more!?
More baby bathing. This time mermaids...in Daddy's workshop bucket...that Little Bit somehow ended up stripped down and inside of...with the mermaids.
Another weekend project...this time they built a cross without nails. The Engineer taught Little Man how to use a chisel...
Love these guys! And I'm so thankful for a husband who loves our kiddos so well.
No - they were NOT getting married. I've been told sometimes girls wear veils when they are on really fancy dates. Btw, that's the dress I wore to our rehearsal dinner. Ooo-la-la!
Now, this same day, and while in their fancy clothes, the children decided it would be advantageous to locate the spot where they'd buried "Sammy the mole." I pleaded with them to let Sammy RIP, but they prevailed. They just wanted "to see what he looks like now."
So Little Man began digging. I told him he could dig one hole and if that wasn't the right spot, too bad. Y'all, the boy dug and dug. He was convinced Sammy must be just a little bit further down. We are talking about three feet. He was down to his shoes and pants and had sweat just pouring down his face and chest. Finally he admitted he must've had the wrong location. I told him to fill the hole back in...a tad later he called me to see the now filled hole...and sticking out of it was about a foot and a half of handle from a yard tool.
I told him to dig out said tool...which ended up being a hoe. And the boy dug. And dug. And dug. He wiggled that handle. He pulled on it. He dug some more. Nothing. He couldn't get it out. The Engineer was due home in another fifteen or so minutes. I assumed he would help Little Man...only he refused and told Little Man, "you buried it, you dig it out" and went on to cut and edge and blow the yard. And just as he was finishing, Little Man employed the post hole digger...the poor kid, his pants were sagging well below his crack from the weight of sweat and dirt...he finally got that hoe out.
He says he will "NEVER bury another tool again."
Sister has been reading Charlotte's Web to her sibs...unbeknownst to me...until I stumbled on this. She's so cool.
Little Man bought a gyroscope. He hasn't quite mastered spinning it on top of his head...
But he's got the forehead down.
This past weekend The Engineer surprised the children with wood carving kits. This is something Sister has been asking for for quite some time. He started the kids off carving on wax.
Little Bit was given tiny screw drivers and a bar of soap. This kept them busy for quite some time. Sister definitely was the most "into it."
And when all was said and done, there were tiny bits of wax and soap EVERYWHERE...and once stepped on, that wax didn't just "sweep up." I struggled with my attitude and pulled the classic martyr card. Ugh. I hate that I do that. I have a really hard time in the clean up department.
Yesterday we learned a little color theory during school...so MUCH fun!!! And I remembered why I love prang watercolors so much more than crayola...the pigments are waaaay richer!!
So...baby is due August 25th. However, my OB is fairly certain I won't make that date. When I told her about all my contractions this past Sunday, she told me, had I gone in, they probably would've broken my water and we'd have a baby now. Hmmm...
I've been so reserved...or guarded in my emotions towards this little one. It's reminded me a lot of my pregnancy with Little Man. After two losses back to back, the night before I gave birth to him, I was convinced he'd be stillborn or that something awful was going to happen. And now, after our last loss...I've been more on the reserved side...holding back a bit. Okay, a lot. But I remember vividly when they placed Little Man on my chest and my reservations melted and love filled up and spilled over. It happened immediately. I know it will happen again. I just feel somewhat guarded right now. Not wanting to get too excited. I don't want to feel pain like that again. The sting of losses past and the knowing that He gives and takes away are sobering. I think that's part of why it took me so long to get moving on baby stuff...like getting a carseat and getting the newborn clothes down out of the attic, etc.
I know God is good. I know He is sovereign. I also know His ways are not our ways. Loss hurts and I don't want to go there again...yet I want His will. And if that means tasting loss again, then let us drink deeply and embrace His call on our lives. So it's been a struggle...holding this little one with an open hand. I think that's part of why we still haven't settled on a name. My children still ask me (as in yesterday!), "Mama, what will we do if this baby dies?" And we talk about God's faithfulness and His mercies and that He is sovereign and Romans 8:28 is really true. And that no matter what, we can trust and rest in His goodness and faithfulness. Even when the pain is deep.
All to say...it's taken a while, but I think my heart is finally in that place of being ready to birth this little one and to enter this next chapter...to embrace whatever He has in store for us.
So y'all...I kind of can't wait!!! (And at 4cm and 80% effaced...I'm thinking (hoping) baby can't wait either!!!)
PS I knocked my 50mm lens off the top of the fridge - I had it there to protect it from little hands. Ha ha ha. I would be the one to knock it off. And now every shot is slightly blurry. Boo. I'm so sad to have to send it off for repairs right now!!