Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Calm Before the Storm?

I hate to liken welcoming a new baby into our family as a "storm," but when it comes down to it this is truly the calm before life gets flipped upside down for awhile.  There is much I am anticipating, and much I am not sure I am ready to take on quite yet.

Right now things seem to be getting in order at our house.  I am almost done with the nursery and love seeing it come together.  I may have had more fun putting together a little boy room than either of my girls' rooms!  Belle and Evie have both transitioned easily into their new bedrooms--thank goodness!  Belle convinced me to put her in the basement bedroom.  I was reluctant at first, but she has loved it!  I think she likes having a bit more privacy!  Evie is still in a crib and we have no plans to move her to a bed anytime soon.  She is more than capable of climbing in and out, but so far it hasn't posed a huge I am crossing my fingers and hoping it lasts!

There is still quite a bit on the "To-Do" list before this little man gets here.  It's funny how I have this idea that we have to get the "house in order" before he is here.  I had a great reminder yesterday by a mother in our MOPS group who just had a baby.  She told me how they didn't even have newborn diapers at their house and had to quick swing by the store on the way home from the hospital.  I have to remind myself that very little has to get done before he comes.   Yes, I'd like his bedroom finished, but he'll probably sleep in our room a bit to start out.  Yes, I'd like the carpet fixed in the basement and our treadmill moved out of the hallway--but it really doesn't matter if this is done before or after the baby comes.  I think it is just the nesting mother in me that is trying to dot all my "i's" and cross all my "t's."

Physically, I am feeling great.  I am just getting over a cold that I was ironically thankful for having.  There is a part of me that feels like if I was sick now I won't possibly be sick in a month, right?  I have the normal pregnancy ailments of struggling to bend down, heartburn, being out of breath when I climb the stairs, and a child that kicks me in the bladder.  However, none of them bother me too bad right now.  I am sure that in a few weeks I'll be over being pregnant, but at this point I am still feeling good.

Emotionally, I am so excited to meet this little man.  I can't wait to see who he looks like, smell his sweet little head, and have him fall asleep on my chest.  However, I also know the other side of a newborn is sleepless nights, an unpredictable baby, and just basic adjustment to a new member in the family.  Right now he is very easy to take care of all snug in my belly.  I know once he comes out it is "game on."

I feel much more confident this time around, than when I was pregnant with Evie.  Before having Evie I was unsure as to how I was going to care for more than one child.  Obviously, I have that figured out.  I am not so worried about how to care for a third, but more concerned with how to keep Evie from getting into mischief while I am nursing :-)  I am worried about the exhaustion and trying to care for the needs of three children while caring for myself and the house we live in.  I know I will find a groove, and it will all become second nature like it all did two years ago when we had Evie.

So, that is where I am at right now.  I am certain the next post from me will be to announce the arrival of our new little man.  It's crazy to think I could safely have him as early as December 31st, and even crazier that it could be as late as February 4th!  I am due on the 21st, but I am thinking a baby around the 14th sounds about perfect!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas 2013

Once again we are choosing to make our Christmas card digital and share it with loads more people, than send it out to just a few.   This is our official Christmas card of 2013 :-)

This year has been another fabulous year for our family.  Obviously, it comes with the normal ups and downs of raising two young kids, but overall we feel very blessed.

Paul is still working at Meijer, but has moved from logistics to ecommerce.  I am still learning what all of that means, but think I am understanding it more and more.  Due to this move at Meijer he really needed to step back from the part-time job he held at our church.  It was a really tough decision, but in the end I think we both knew it was the right decision.  He still finds himself helping out at Cornerstone often whether it's with lights or service directing, but the time there is much more manageable--and his wife is MUCH happier to see more of him  :-)

I am somehow surviving with my crazy children at home.  For those of you who read my posts on Facebook, you are well aware that Belle and Evie are keeping me busy.  Although I love being home with them I am more than thrilled for a night out to sing with Alive, do something MOPS related, or even just unwind at the end of the day with my crochet hook and a ball of yarn.   As you can imagine, parenting a drama queen and an antagonist can lead to many interesting and entertaining moments in the Thompson household!  Thank goodness they are so stinking cute ;-)  Belle and Evie teach me something new everyday--whether it's about the mind of a child or about myself as a person.  As I always say, this parenting gig is the hardest, but most amazing and rewarding job I have ever had.

Belle is still quite the dramatic child.  I am CERTAIN that she makes up for the time she doesn't talk while sleeping within the first 15 minutes of being awake each morning.  She is a chatty girl who still has some killer one-liners.  Belle is curious about the world around her and loves to ask questions and figure things out.  Right now she is at preschool at Legacy Christian School, and seems to really enjoy it.  She loves to sing, read, color, and play with her dolls.

Evie has definitely kept me busy this year.  We had our first couple of trips to the doctor to get some stitches, and I tend to follow her around to make sure she doesn't kill herself or ruin the house.  You can often tell where Evie has been because she usually leaves a trail of marker colored walls, rolls of toilet paper in the toilet, or broken toys.  She is a busy girl, but she is quite the cuddler.  Evie melts my heart every day when she grabs her blanket, pacifier, and climbs onto my lap to watch a show.  She sure knows how to work that cute smile and curly hair.

We are just a a few weeks away from meeting the next member of our family.  My pregnancy has been fairly easy, and we are thrilled to welcome a little boy.  I am not quite sure what awaits him with his two older sisters, but I am certain Belle will be my big helper and Evie will be covering him in kisses (or trying to sit on him).

We have definitely had our own set of trials in 2013, but we feel thankful for the blessings we have experienced as well.   It is a continual process of relying and trusting on God to give us strength in our marriage, patience and confidence in our parenting, and direction for our family and work life.

Blessings in your 2014!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Facebook Is My Friend

Today I went to a retirement party for my boss when I worked at Access of West Michigan.  Many of the people I ran into are only those I see a couple times a year...if that.  However, each of them had one thing in common.  They all had a good idea of what was happening in my life thanks to good ol' Facebook.

The people that I ran into are those who I know care about me.  They asked about my girls, and they laughed at the many stories they have seen on Facebook about Belle's one-liners or Evie's newest antics.  I found that they actually were entertained, as well as interested in the stories that I share on Facebook.

I am a self-proclaimed "Facebook Over-Poster."  It is not new to me that I post statuses often about any subject across the board.  The fact is that I find Facebook entertaining.  Frankly, I have found it a great venue to share stories about my kids, ask advice, and follow up with others.

Let's discuss this stay-at-home-mom life.  I feel very blessed to be home with my girls, but there are days that can get long and lonely.  Sometimes things happen during the day I want to share with someone right away, but the chaos happening inside my home makes it not so convenient to call people up to discuss the latest and greatest Belle or Evie saga.  Sometimes I just want to share things so it is documented, and I can go back someday and read what life was like at this stage.

There are days I feel worn down and I just need some words of encouragement.  Paul is busy at work and can't always give me pep talks during the day to lift my spirits.  Enter Facebook.  Reaching out about a tough mom day to my Cornerstone MOPS group page has solicited loads of "You're a good mom!"  "Hang in there!" "Praying for you!"  All at once I am not alone and I have an instant cheering squad encouraging me to keep my head up and that "this too shall pass."  There are many days I have found a renewed sense of energy in this mom gig just by utilizing Facebook.

There are other days I just have to share a story about my kids because they are too funny to keep to myself.  I am not saying that I think other people find these stories funny, but I am hoping they can at least appreciate the crazy things that happen in this house.  I enjoy the posts others share about their kids, and sometimes you just can't pass up an opportunity to reinforce the fact that "kids say the darndest things."

Sometimes I just want to share things just to share life.  I have always been a social person.  In high school and college I constantly interacted with my closest friends and multiple people in a short amount of time.  Now, things are just different.  I don't get to socialize on a daily basis like I had been able to in my past.  I see people here and there, but I don't get my daily dose of adult interaction like I used to.  Facebook has become a way for me to share the ins and outs of my life from the comfort of my home without having to schedule a million playdates or social gatherings.

Tonight I was actually jokingly told that my Facebook posts have been therapy for someone because it has helped them realize that their granddaughter is behaving exactly how she should :-)  Another person told me that they loved following me on Facebook because my girls keep them laughing.  There are many days I question if my posts drive people crazy or not, but it was really nice to hear that others find them entertaining, and in some cases they actually help others feel more "normal." :-)

So, whether you hate my Facebook activity or not, I will most likely keep the statuses coming.  I find a comfort in knowing there are hundreds of people out there that I can reach out to for advice, for encouragement, to make laugh, and just use as a captive audience for the things that happen in my life.  Thankfully, there are many of you out there like me to keep me entertained and feeling "normal" as well.