Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oh yeah, that fourth baby.

Sometimes I forget about this fourth baby we have on the way. Sometimes it's unbearably evident that I'm expecting another, like when I come home from this new job and crash on the couch, succumbing to the exhaustion 'growing a person' creates. Or when I start to cry because the kitchen is messy, or a commercial is emotional. Yep, there's those great reminders. I hit the twenty weeks milestone yesterday, halfway there! I'm starting to notice that my belly gets in the way now when I bend over to pick something up, and that the muscles on the sides of my belly are hurting from that stretching.

But in that way that a mom with a lot of kids does, I feel like this baby is already getting a little bit ignored. I forgot my last doctor's appointment, I frequently can't remember how far along in the pregnancy I am. The baby's room hasn't had a lot of thought, and I'm vaguely sure there are baby clothes somewhere amongst the unpacked boxes in the basement. I had an ultrasound on Friday but Troy felt no need to go, nor did I feel slighted going by myself. When I do remember my appointment's they seem sooo redundant and trivial. If it wasn't for those two minutes that I get to hear the heartbeat I'd say see you later to the doctors until I arrived in July in labor. It's not that I feel that I know it all, but I feel like I know it all.

I think I feel okay with this though. I feel like the difference is not that this baby is receiving less love, just less anxiousness in general. I still see this with Thane, our oldest. Oldest children carry a lot of weight. I've worried over his milestones the most, his progress, fretted when he was 'behind' or that we weren't doing what we should have been. But with Seth and Claire I have this peaceful feeling that it will all be fine, that they'll get it at some point, get over whatever age specific hurdle they're leaping, as long as they know they're loved and supported by us. Because we've been there already. We've done the long baby nights many times over, and learned that there isn't much you can control in those moments but your own state of mind. Determination to get a baby to sleep who is wakeful as can be, will not aid the situation. What time it is will not sway that baby's opinion, but taking a deep breath and settling into a good 3am show with baby can sometimes help a lot. We've watched Thane learn to count and write and read. More importantly, we watched him learn when he was ready. Now with Seth we know not to worry about it, we merely have to offer him the tools and he'll get it! My teenager's will most likely head out for university well potty trained, be over sleeping in Mom and Dad's bed, be able to buckle their own seatbelt, fully able to feed themselves, eat without putting their food in their hair, with shoes they tyed on their own, and be able to write a 2 that doesn't look like a 5. My hope for my kids is that we've offered challenges, aided them to learn self-directedness, supported them through all of their progress, and continue to love them no matter what they can or cannot do.

This baby won't be the poor ignored fourth baby, he or she will be the baby lucky enough to benefit from our well-oiled parenting experience.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

A late Valentine's post.

I'm really impressed by this Design Mom's Valentine's gusto. Check out her post on what she helped her children do for their classroom Valentine's.


It's a far cry from the store bought pack of 32 Marvel Character Valentines that I split between Thane and Seth's classmates. Our Valentine routine was more an event in printing practice than design prowess.Thane made a list of his classmates, picked out his favorite characters for his besties, assigned a girl Valentine to a boy he didn't like (in spite of my frown), and signed his name eighteen times. I was very impressed that Seth signed his name fourteen times in a row, all by himself. Writing his name once is a feat he's only recently managed, but I think he was spurred on by the coolness factor of being included in what was previously one of Thane's big kid only activities. And all of this was done at 9:30 the evening before their Valentine parties. Yep. Clearly a best parenting moment. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A little room to stretch out

I'm itching to get into our new bedroom, mostly because I'll have closet space again! To the right is the room when we started renos, that light is coming from what will be my new big under the stairs closet. We move to an old house and I get a bigger closet than ever. That pleases me to no end.  

Right now we are bunking out in what we were planning to use as our spare bedroom (below). This plan has changed a little, it will now be the new baby's room. At any rate, it sure doesn't work as ours!

However, whatever it's going to be, it still has no closet, only enough room for our spare double bed (as opposed to our lovely new king), and currently there is no door between this room and Claire's. We generally hate the little bed we're in now, finding it backbreaking and way too 'cozy', and can't wait to get back into our REAL bed. I am just dying to put away the temporary shelf and yardsale rod that we're using right now for our clothes (squashed directly beside the little bed). Yep, I'm posting this picture with the messy room as is. Because that's how it always is lately! I'm getting very tired of trying to squash our clothes in where they just don't fit.

I have the paint color swatch all picked out, it's called Coventry Grey. It sounds boring, but I think it will be quite lovely with lots of white trim, our light blue duvet cover, throw in some white curtains? I also found a very pretty blue fabric to possibly recover one of the occasional chairs I keep picking up at yardsales and auctions. On good days Troy calls them my 'project chairs'... on other days he calls them kindling.

Our year that was originally pegged for a year to transform this house has quickly transformed into a career year (along with an energy zapping pregnancy), so progress over the last couple months has been S-L-O-W. This is what our new bedroom looks like now. I'm enjoying the career changes but am so yearning for the reno plans to go on as scheduled. Sigh. How to fit it all in. 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Injustice is served...

I'm so sad for my little niece tonight. Well, nieces really, although somewhat fortunately my eighteen month old niece at least has the benefit her age has to offer, in a sort of obliviousness on the matter of things like lawyers, red tape, and divorce.

My other niece, at the perceptive age of six (combined with being one of the most intelligent little girls I have ever met) is not so lucky as to be oblivious.

Everyone has let her down. Her mother's hands are tied into sending her off to stay with her father when she doesn't want to go. She's scared, worrying worries beyond those a six year old should have to.

I'm having a rough time venting about this without getting into the nitty gritty details, so here's the Coles notes. Her 'father', originally a deadbeat who abandoned my sister like a hot potato upon the news of the unexpected teen pregnancy, was unwilling to even meet their sweet little baby until practically forced to when she was six months old, and couldn't have picked her out of a lineup until she was almost four. She spent these years wondering why other kids have daddies and she didn't. My sister made the mistake of thinking a whole family with her biological father would be the best thing for my niece and gave the dummy a second chance, but it turns out deadbeat dads make even worse husbands and fathers after a wedding. He found the girls to be inconvenient and irritating, responsibilities to be tiresome, and his beautiful wife not so much fun when she, their family, and their home came between him and his money and freedom. In the dying days of their short lived marriage he literally chose his beloved Mustang over these sweet girls. Now, spurred by his parents who hold the misguided belief that they cannot have a relationship with their granddaughters if their son decides not to, along with his love of his money and desire not to pay child support, a bitter custody battle has ensued.

My sister has poured her soul into these children, making every decision with their well being in mind. She has spent the last seven years evolving from a nervous young mother into the self sufficient, hard working, confident, intelligent and dedicated mother she is today. As soon as they finally separated she went back to university (something he had scorned so she had given up), but was quickly punished for this. Her lawyer really dropped the ball, misinforming my sister that this was a good move, that she was within her rights to move like this. She wasn't apparently, and the judge at their first court date condemned her for moving the girls without their fathers consent. Seriously? This dumbass sperm donor has been handed the right of parenthood now? After having been given chance after chance to properly earn it and throwing away his chances?

So now the girls must go stay with him for half of their time until this crazy is resolved. This shitty interim of his skuzzy lawyer not cooperating, with-holding information and not returning calls, generally prolonging everything. He has no idea how to care for children. He has no idea about how to accomplish the simple daily logistics (I dare say it would be humorous to be a fly on the wall to witness the laundry, cleaning, and kitchen duties, but then again they probably also will just be neglected), let alone more complex parenting like providing proper nutrition, education, offering stimulating activities, screen time boundaries, active playtime, the importance of schedules and bedtime, reading to your children, providing emotional security and forging bonds with them, being someone they can trust. That knowledge, those skills, comes from EXPERIENCE, and dedication and a desire to be a good parent. He hasn't called the girls in 6 weeks. Not to say good night, I love you, that he cares. My niece has been terrified to go stay with him again since one visit with him where he refused to let her call her mother when she was lonely and scared, claiming it was his night. He's moved on from bullying my sister to bullying this innocent little girl.

My little niece told me tonight she was going to pray that she wouldn't have to go. She has begged to talk to the lawyers herself, saying surely if she could just explain they would understand. She asked her mother if she was scared again and he wouldn't let her call, maybe she could call 911? I wish I could think of someone I could call for her.

It's not fair.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February freeze

I am sooo cold. I am fingers cold while I type, nose cold all the time, cancel my playdate because I don't want to go outside from the house to the car cold.

So I'm dreaming of this.
and this...

and this.
Those are the beautiful, warm lazy summer days spent on the beaches of Nova Scotia. Summer will come again! I have to convince myself it will. Brrr....
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