Nesting for Number Four

August 31, 2015

  It's September and the surprise addition is due to be born some time this month.  Between the busy-ness of our lives and my own difficulty accepting this turn in our lives, I'd been putting it off doing anything to get ready, beyond accruing some baby clothes.  This weekend I found some free time and got started nesting for our new baby.  Since this is our fourth child in four and a half years (over-achievers, making up for lost time, call it what you will!) we have most of the things we need.  I dug out our Moses basket and a baby blanket, found the baby monitor, and cleared space in the low-boy dresser in Water's room. 
  Since there will be six of us in a 3 bedroom house, the current plan is to have the baby sleep in our room until she (Elizabeth has always said that it's a girl and I hope she's right because I just bought a bunch of second-hand girls clothes!) outgrows the Moses basket.  When we're ready to move the baby to the crib, we'll switch to a boy's room-girl's room set up, with Water and Fire sharing one room and Sky and the baby sharing another. 
  We still don't know when the new baby will be coming home to us but our best guess is later in October.  My RMI law, the court date must be at least 30 days after the baby's birth.  That means that even if the baby is born today, the earliest we could go to court would be the first week of October.  I'm guessing there will be some delays in getting Jobe's notarized consent, since he didn't want to travel to Majuro for court, and then a wait for an open court date.  All that adds up to it being at least 6 weeks before we'll need any of these baby things.
  I'm so glad that I made the time to do this, even though there's still a wait.  I'm getting genuinely excited and having to hold my tongue when I see Ms B in the morning, to keep from asking her if she's heard anything from Elizabeth in Majuro!

High Five for Friday #23: So Glad to Be Here

August 27, 2015

  High five, we made it to Friday again!  I'm so glad to be here.  Not here, in this space (although I do love my blog space and my three lovely readers!) but here in this time, at the end of August.  Between Kwaj's amazingly bad weather this summer and the heavy feeling of waiting (for Kindergarten to start, for D to get a job offer, for baby number 4 to come), these last few months have felt ridiculously long and seemed to pass very slowly.  We're not great at waiting but we made it to here, relatively intact and still loving each other.

  The cascade of beginnings started this week with Sky starting Kindergarten.   She was understandably nervous about starting school but loved it, like we hoped she would.  She comes home still full of energy but it's joyful instead of frenetic.  She's being challenged and praised and is using her amazing brain all day and it's so good for her.  Life is so much easier for all of when Sky is happy.  D and I feel like we have some space to recharge our batteries and we've been handling the regular stresses of parenting so much better over the last few days because of it.

What The First Day of Kindergarten Looks Like Here

August 26, 2015

  My girl was so brave today!  Sky has been attending the same preschool, with the same teachers, for three and a half years, and going to Kindergarten means giving that up.  Sky struggles with transitions and she's been acting out her anxiety about this one for the last few weeks as we've transitioned her out of daycare.  I was expecting the same big emotions this morning but beyond refusing to take a "first day of school" picture, she did great.  There wasn't any excitement but there wasn't any balking either.  Somewhere in all that nervousness, there was a little girl excited for something new.
  Sky is ready to be in school- ready for the structure, the higher level of expectations, and the broader horizons that Kindergarten will bring.  I am truly hopeful that she will thrive in her class and that school will be someplace exciting and fun, someplace where she feels safe enough to let her guard down and enjoy herself.

High Five for Friday #22: The Parenting Edition

August 20, 2015

  Happy Friday, Everyone!  How's your week been?  Between a bad head cold going around the family, Water cutting teeth 7 and 8, Sky acting out because she's not in school in the afternoons anymore, and Fire acting out because he misses Sky, D and I have felt like we're just putting one foot in front of the other right now.  This parenting business is hard.  There are so many times when I would love to do it the easy way, to assert my will over theirs and rule by force, to make them do something "because I said so."  While that would be the easy way, at least for my family it's not the best way.  To get through the challenging times, I'm reaching for every strategy I can find and applying them left and right.  For my Five this Friday, I'll be sharing my resources for parenting in trying times.

When I started writing this post, the plan was to have it be all about the books and blogs I run to when I need help to find a way through something, and those are still going to be in here, but I'm going to be honest with you: they're not my first resource.  This is:
 I'm not overt or evangelical about it here on the blog but I do believe that He is my first, and best, resource and time spent in prayer always helps me center myself and find a way through our toughest times.

The other man in my life:
While he doesn't have all the answers, we can usually find a way through things together. (We can also open each other a beer and toast to having made it through another day!) 

How to Throw an Amazing First Birthday Party!

August 18, 2015

Want to throw your own super-duper, amazing, awe-inspiring first birthday party?  I did and it was fabulous!  I know you're thinking, "How can I do that?"  Fear not, my friend, the post below contains all the information you need to throw your own Amazing First Birthday Party (to make Pinterest pinning easier, all the suggestions are on the pictures). 

High Five for Friday # 21: Water is Turning One!

August 14, 2015

  High Five, ya'll- my baby is turning one this weekend!  It's been an amazingly long and short year, all at once.  I won't retrace all of it for you (there was so much puking that I would rather forget!) but if you'd like to reminisce a bit, click on "Water" in the Categories box there on the right. 

  In honor of our special boy, this High Five post will be all about Water

Look how much he's grown!

Her Ending and My Beginning: An Open Adoption Memory

August 11, 2015

 It is 1:33pm on August 18, 2014 and I am watching the clock.  I'm trying not to count the minutes left, the minutes until she, my beautiful baby boy's first mother, can no longer change her mind.  Mama D pays no attention to the clock.  She never has.  From the moment I met her a week ago, she has never seemed to question her decision.  I'm sure that inside she is a whirl of emotions and that uncertainty is on of them, but she has never let on any of that to me.
  Water stirs and begins to fuss in his bassinet and we both turn towards him.  Because of her stitches, it's hard for Mama D to get out of bed so I go to him, change his diaper, and then carry the baby to her.  She lowers her hospital gown and begins to nurse him.  I've been bottle-feeding Water at night so that she can sleep but she wanted to breast feed him for these first few days.  While she cuddles with our sweet boy, the last minute ticks past and the paperwork she signed before he was born become unrevocable.  He is mine.  Half of my heart breaks for Mama D while  the other half soars in selfish joy. 
  Thirty minutes later, with custody paperwork in hand, we are discharged from the hospital.  A nurse checks that Water is properly buckled into his car seat and Mama D's boyfriend picks up her bag.  We form a slow procession to the elevators.  At the hospital entrance, there are two cars waiting, one for me and Water and one for Mama D, and she begins to cry as the reality of this separation sets in.  I cry for her and with her, give her a hug, and tell her to call anytime.  I ask if she'd like to get together tomorrow and she says she'll let me know.  We get into our cars and are driven off in different directions.  It is both an ending and a beginning...

See where I'm linking up here

One Week on Kosrae

August 8, 2015

  I'm so, so glad that we decided to go ahead with our vacation on Kosrae!  There seemed to be so many good reasons for cancelling: it was too soon after Fire's surgery, we should save the money and vacation time for our upcoming adoption, it would be easier on the kids to not go.  In the end, D and I decided that we could all use a break from our regular lives, that we all needed to be someplace else for just a little while.

High Five for Friday #20: Post-Vacation Edition

August 6, 2015

 High Five for Friday!  I know I said that we weren't going to be able to go on vacation but it turned out that Fire's surgery was successful (and it would cost more to cancel the vacation than to actually go!) so we decided to take our week away.  There wasn't a lot of internet access so we kind of checked out from the blog and fb world.  It was a really nice break for everyone.  We got back early this week and have been slowly getting back into the swing of things.  Here's a quick recap of what we've been up to:


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