Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Household fun

I've been clicking through the stuff that needs to be blogged and I noticed this one:

So can I just point out how this picture proves that there is a certain degree to which bringing home a third child is actually easier than it is to bring home the second or first?  I sort of blinked and they went from Kendra playing near Elliot to Kendra actually playing with Elliot.  It's pretty awesome up one side and down the other.

And yes, they're wearing pajamas...these are from when Paxton was one week old.

And, while I'm talking about how awesome my kids are, she is a pretty fantastic big sister.  She is incredibly patient with and kind to her sometimes annoying baby brother.  She makes me proud every single day.

They do seem to have a lot of fun together.

And we have a lot of fun with them, too.

A still moment

New babies are a LOT of work.  And being a new mommy can be quite stressful, even the third time around (and since being the third time means that there are two other children already kinda dependent on you and their needs don't magically change because you're more busy with the new baby).


It's not all stress and hormones and sleep deprivation.  When those things pile up it can definitely feel like those things are all there is...but it isn't.  And when you're smack in the middle of it, it can feel like it's going to last forever...but it doesn't.

And that's a good thing for parents' sanity.  I've found that there is a certain level of sheer survival mode to the first few months of having a new member of the family and it's draining.  It's a huge relief for things to smooth out and there to be a predictable rhythm and flow.

But..babies don't stay babies for very long.  And there is a very, very real sweetness and serenity that only come with brand-new babies.

So during the craziness, every once in a while, there is a moment of calm when we can actually enjoy those things.  And when we found them, I usually asked Grant to get out the camera and record it.


Paxton was only eight days old when these were taken...part of me feels like that must have been last week, but part of me is very aware it was already four months ago.

With each baby we've had since our first, during moments like this I think (and often even say out loud to them), "I know it feels like you're going to be this small forever but I know you're not..."  Kendra has already proven just how fast these babies turn into full-blown little people.

But what is super weird to that soon enough all these little people will grow up and have babies of their own...

I'll be sure to tell them that it doesn't last forever, and the two sides of what that means.

Follow the Leader

**A note: this post is actually a pretty big deal.  I'm embarrassingly behind with blogging because I've lately often falling short of my goal to post something at least once a week.  BUT.  We have a breakthrough because once these pictures are up, this is the last of the stuff we have to share from before Paxton was born!  Wahoo!**

He turned 4 months old a few days ago.  It's a little embarrassing.

We've already talked about Elliot's little harness.  He's worn it around the house quite a bit these past few months and it's attracted some unexpected attention from Kendra.  She was fascinated the function of this little device and decided to try it out one afternoon in early September (it turns out there were a lot of afternoons around then when we were literally just sitting around waiting for me to go into labor).

Yeah, this is probably a liiiiittle bit towards the weird side of the spectrum, but they had a lot of fun doing this.  And y'know...sometimes, that's the whole point, isn't it?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Day of Animals

Although we ended up giving Paxton an eviction notice and inducing labor 12 days after his due date, there were a couple of points in the weeks leading up to his due date that gave us every indication that labor was quite immeninent.

In fact, I had heard about an attraction just over and hour from us that I thought would make a fun day out for our family but that seemed like an awfully long way to drive back in increasingly intense pain if I randomly went into labor while we were there, so I called it a wash and put it on our list for next summer.  In lui of that, I looked for things for us to do closer to home and one Saturday we had a day of animals.

I am signed up for a local newsletter that sends out weekly newsletters with information about upcoming local activities, events and programs for children and families.  One week I noticed that there would be a free reptile display at the mall, so we piled in and checked it out.

Kendra really got a kick out of it:

It was mostly different varieties of snakes, but there were some lizards and even, as you can see, an alligator.  I was pretty impressed when she correctly identified a rattlesnake in one of the boxes.

Smart girl!  Though now that I think about it, she probably picked it up from Dora the Explorer...but still.

There was also a table for the employees to handle the animals let people (mostly children) touch them, too.  Kendra was pretty stoked!

No fear for this one!  At least, not this time.

It turns out, it takes a significantly greater amount more than non-zero effort to leave the house with 2 small children and a nine-months-pregnant woman in tow so when we went around the entire reptile display twice in twenty minutes, we decided we had not gotten our effort's worth out of leaving the house and found a second destination.

We had heard about Shaver's Creek a couple of times but never managed to get out to it.  We were one of only two groups there at the time so we had each attraction to ourselves while we were there, it was pretty neat.

First, we walked through a display of tanks and hands-on activities in the main building that were all centered around educating about local Pennsylvania wildlife.

There was also a pretty neat loft that Grant and the kids crawled up to and played in for a while but the stairs were all kinds of too steep for me to feel comfortable climbing with my extremely altered center of gravity and my sixty-inch waist.

From there, we headed outside and checked out all the birds in the Raptor Center, where they house birds who have been injured and wouldn't survive in the wild.

This is only a small sample of the birds that were there, there were a couple dozen at least.  The Bald Eagles were Kendra's favorites by far!

After we spent a good chunk of time checking out the birds of prey, Elliot and I were pretty beat and weren't up for hanging around another half an hour for the demonstration, so we made our way back through the trails to our car and headed home.

The closest major city with big attractions like zoos and things is an hour and a half away in Harrisburg, but it's really nice that there are still fun and interesting things to explore out here in our little oasis town!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Just hanging out...

Being a mother can be hard.  Some days are a whole lot of tushies to wipe and messes to clean up and tantrums to soothe and literally not being able to remember the last time I took a shower (which is super gross because I workout almost every day).  And with three of em, every so often there's just a day with not much more than bouncing from one to another wearing my Mommy cape.

But luckily, there's an opposite end of the spectrum.  Luckily, at least once a day, at least one of our kids does something wonderful that convinces me that I am, in fact, the luckiest Mommy in the whole wide world.  And with three of em, every so often there's just a day with not much more than bouncing from one to another soaking in how great it is.

We had one Sunday morning like that recently.  With church services starting at 12:30pm last year and the kids on an 8am wake-up schedule, we always had time to kill those mornings.  Just oatmeal and blueberries, markers and scrap paper and LOTS of fun and smiles among us.

I ask you, am I not, in fact, the luckiest Mommy in the whole wide world?  :)