Monday, February 22, 2010

Snuggle Bug

When she was small, Phoebe just wasn't much of a snuggler. She was on the go, all the time. She crawled early and was into everything. The only time she'd tolerate being held was when she took a bottle at bedtime, and even then she was a bit of a wiggler.

Even now, Phoebe loves to move. (What almost-three-year-old doesn't?) Walking through the grocery store today, Phoebe was almost incapable of walking in a straight line. She had to twirl down the aisles. Singing. And doing hand-motions. Honestly, it's remarkable that she didn't knock over a display, now that I think about it.

As Phoebe's gotten older, she's started to enjoy snuggling much more. Story time is a favorite time for snuggles, as is any time we're watching a movie. She also might be the cutest little bug ever when she snuggles up in her towel after a bath. After all those months of not snuggling, it's now such a delight to get to snuggle up with her!

The other night, she folded herself up into my lap and wanted me to sing to her before bed. (Our typical bedtime songs are a little lively, almost always including hand motions.) Afterwards, she looked up at me with those big brown eyes and said, "Mommy? You want to seep wif me tonight? Pees?" After I hemmed and hawed for a minute, Michael encouraged me to take a little snuggle time with her and have a slumber party in the guest bedroom. So we did!

Although it wasn't the best night's sleep I'd ever gotten, it was so much fun to snuggle up next to that sweet little lovebug. She squished me over to a sliver of the bed, but there's hardly a cuter little critter to have been squished by!

The best part was our early morning chat. Michael brought us hot chocolate (for me) and chocolate milk (for her), and we were able to snuggle and talk for a good half hour or so before Nora woke up. It was a precious, memorable time -- and I'm so glad we were able to have our little slumber party together before Ruthie arrives!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ready Or Not...

When I went in for my 36-week checkup a week and a half ago, Ruthie was clearly in no hurry to make her debut. But at 37 weeks, she had flipped into position and progress had already begun. (Lots of progress, I felt, considering I'd had very few contractions up until that point.) As we left the doctor that afternoon, it was finally real that - ready or not - Ruthie is coming, and soon!

There are plenty of preparations to be made right now. The second crib is full of all kinds of non-baby items, the clothes are still in the attic, and the car seat needs to be washed and installed. Diapers and new bottles need to be purchased, and it might help if I packed a bag for the hospital. (One thing I have done is order her lovey...which, honestly, might be the most important thing of all if she's anything like her sisters!) But even as the days tick by, the nesting instinct has yet to kick in.

What has kicked in is an increased desire to do special things with the bigger girls. I know that life for them (for all of us) is about to turn upside-down, and I want to make the most of the little moments we have right now with a semblance of normal.

We've made special breakfasts...

...and sampled the batter.

We've played dress-up...

...and gone for carousel rides.

We've played in the snow...

...and the tents...

...and the rice.

We're playing games at night, and lingering extra-long in bubbly baths. We're meeting friends at the "Chicken House" for lunch, and we're savoring extra time for story time. Today, we even cashed in some very generous gift cards at Barnes and Noble and treated ourselves to a cookie with pink sprinkles. We're trying to laugh and smile and enjoy these days as much as we can, because as absolutely wonderful as having a newborn in the house will be, it will also be challenging. We so eagerly anticipate Ruthie's arrival, and yet...for right now, I'm hanging on to the sweet moments we're having, just the four of us.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Brain Dead

I have officially reached the point in pregnancy where I have exactly zero brain cells left. Little Ruthie is going to be pretty smart, because I'm certain she has absorbed what remained of my intelligence along with my energy and my food. Y'all, you forget. I sat down the other night to write (because we've certainly had a lot going on!) and I was able to hammer out approximately two sentences before throwing in the towel.

I've also hesitated to write because, in spite of the fun, we've had a trying week or so. Almost-three-year-olds are testing boundaries, toddlers are cutting teeth and catching colds, Daddies are working extremely hard, and Mommies are just about spent around here. And in the midst of it, there's so much beauty... but if I can't bring myself to write about the redemption in the midst of our stories, I just don't want to write. Honestly, this isn't a place where I want to gripe.

In the past week, we've had unbelievable fun: tents, snow, homemade muffins, carousel rides, "Lovingtimes" Day... and I'm hoping to record some of that in the next few days. That is, if a Little Sister doesn't decide to make her debut, first! (We're 37 1/2 weeks, and she's made it VERY clear that she's coming out soon... either on her own, or with an eviction in just a couple of weeks!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nora is 16 Months Old

Our sweet Nora is sixteen months old today! This month will be a big one for her because, Lord willing, she will become a big sister this month. (I'm praying SO hard that I don't have to go past my due date!) Every day we see Nora becoming less of a baby and more of a toddler; and every day, Nora is even more delightful. We love our sweet little bunny!

At sixteen months, Nora...
  • jabbers nonstop, and is saying more and more real words. She literally jabbers all the time. We think it's precious, of course. Some real words she's said in the past few days include nay-nay (that's our word for paci) and bird, but she'll make pretty good attempts to repeat just about anything.
  • finally has tooth #7, and judging from the drip going on right now, is working on at least one other tooth.
  • is officially taking one nap a day. We started the transition right after she turned fifteen months, and it took about a week for her to get the hang of it. Nora now makes it to naptime like a champ with only occasional mid-morning come-aparts, and she usually naps for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. (She stays in her crib for a minimum of three hours.)
  • has started jumping, and it is hilarious to watch.
  • loves any song with hand motions, and has definite preferences for the ones she wants to sing. Current favorites include "Deep and Wide" and "Jesus in the Boat". I'm amazed at how adept she is at picking up the hand motions to these songs!
  • is much more communicative, and seems to understand most of what we tell her. She follows simple commands pretty well, and she loves to be a big helper.
  • is all about babies, which will probably be both a blessing and a frustration when her little sister arrives.
  • loves to brush her teeth, and asks to do so several times a day. When she brushes her teeth alongside her sister, she does the whole drill: spit, rinse, repeat. They are hilarious to watch together.
  • is now reading longer storybooks, and will tolerate sharing a lap with her sister for story time. Some books we've enjoyed together recently are the Maisy books, Little Critter books, Clifford books, and the If You Give a Mouse... type books. I've been thrilled to be able to add some variety into her story time!
  • loves to eat with a fork, and we'll occasionally even let her do her own thing with a spoon if a bath is soon to follow. She understands appropriate use, but occasionally struggles to hit her target.
  • makes us smile all the time!
Our little Nora is such a delight. She's battling yet another cold right now, and even in the middle of her slimy-snottiness, she is a happy, sweet little thing. While she is still so little, I am so thankful that God has given me glimpses of her as a bigger girl these past few days. It won't be long before this sweet Belle is a big sister!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Well That Was Fun

Yesterday morning, I found myself wide awake at 4am. This actually wasn't all that new...I'd been waking at 4 for the past few days, and then finally falling back asleep at 5 for another hour or so. Yesterday I was exceedingly uncomfortable, so I finally dragged myself out of bed.

And then I realized that I felt pretty bad.

I'll omit the juicy details here, but let's just say I spent most of the day yesterday feeling miserable. A really, really rotten stomach bug took up residence in my body for the day. Even little sips of water upset my stomach. I spent a good chunk of the morning talking with nurses at my OB, because evidently it's not good to go on a 24-hour fast from both food and water when you're 36 weeks pregnant.

After a double-dose of phenergen knocked me out and kept some sickness at bay, we were able to avoid what we were told was a near-certain trip to L&D for fluids and medication. And although I'm sure I'd feel a whole lot better today had I gotten some IV fluids, I'm thankful we were able to avoid that little adventure. The game plan for today is rehydration.

I'm particularly thankful that we have local grandparents. The girls were actually spending the night at Michael's mom and dad's house on Tuesday night, and they graciously rearranged their Wednesday schedule to keep them for another day and night, in case I needed to go to the hospital. They're headed back home shortly, and the house has been thoroughly Lysol-ed. We're also so thankful for all the local friends that have offered help and prayers right now. It's amazing how little viruses become a big deal when you're a few weeks away from having a baby! Right now, we're just planning to take a few days and get back to normal.

So that was fun. But I'm ready to rest up for the real fun, which hopefully won't start for another couple of weeks!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Little Mommies

One afternoon last week, our living room became a full-on Mommy Training Center. We pulled out all of the baby dolls, play bottles, blankies, strollers....everything. We had such a delightful time playing together, and I was really impressed at how well both girls cared for their babies.

Nora felt like the first order of business needed to be a walk. And a bottle. At the same time.
Phoebe wasn't ready to play Mommy until she was adequately dressed. (Don't they say that stay-at-home moms should dress nicely in order to be more effective and productive?)
Nora might need a few lessons on appropriate baby carrying, but she certainly knows what the nay-nay is for.

Phoebe promptly tucked her baby in to bed, but was standing by in case the baby cried.
But both girls know... we have to "shh!" when the babies are sleeping!

As I snapped pictures of them happily pretending away, I couldn't help but get a little excited about the real live baby doll that's going to join them in just a few short weeks. I have a feeling I'm going to have some very eager helpers when Ruthie joins her sisters!