Real Life with Rita: It All Passes Too Fast

As of yesterday… I am two weeks out from my due date. It’s a time when many expectant moms are ever-so-anxious to meet their little one and be done with all that comes with pregnancy.

And there are plenty of good reasons for it… Who doesn’t want to finally see the precious face of a a newborn baby–especially one that is your own? Not to mention the level of discomfort that you have at this point in the game. Having an extra 30 pounds on my midsection and a basketball size weight in my front while chasing toddlers is not exactly my favorite thing. By 38 weeks doctors tell us the baby is safe for delivery anyway, so why not hope for things to move along sooner rather than later?

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I have never had expectations for an early delivery this time around. Maybe it’s because Jacob went past his due date and my hoping/wondering if I’d go into labor those last two weeks just caused it to drag on. But I think the truth is, with this being my third pregnancy in three years, I instead realize the pricelessness of time more than ever before. Time marches on at the same beat no matter what. This baby will arrive. This baby will grow. This time will pass.

It will pass all too fast. It all passes too fast.

I see my friends posting pictures of their babies that I feel like were born a week ago, but already they are 1, 2, 3, 4 months old! What?? My nephew is nearly a year old and I feel like it was last month we were waiting on his arrival! Jacob is a full-on toddler speaking words and playing silly games with Dorothy. Dorothy is a little girl who plays imaginary games, draws pictures that actually look like things and speaks in full sentences.

I’ve been asked if I’m all “ready” and if I have my bags packed, etc. I kind of laugh and shrug saying something about, “Oh baby number three… We have stuff. We’ll be fine.” I think some take that to mean I’m not excited. It’s actually the opposite. With Dorothy’s pregnancy, I was so excited, but I didn’t know what I was excited for. It was all a mystery. The only thing I knew to do with that excitement was to make lists and try to prepare. With Jacob, he was so soon after Dorothy, I was lost in the fog of still raising the baby Dorothy was (not even walking when I found out I was pregnant) in addition to building a house. I was excited but very much distracted with so many other excitements in my life.

 

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This time, I am excited because I KNOW what is in store and that it will be over in a blink and that there is nothing I can do to slow time down. All I can possibly do is live in the moment and not be anticipated the next one. Call me crazy, but my baby has not even been born and I already get sad about how quickly it will be suddenly be ‘big’.

It’s better to live in these final moments of feeling this babe wiggle inside of me.
It’s better to enjoy the magic of hearing it’s heart beat at the doctor appointments.
It’s better to capture the opportunity to talk to Dorothy about what will happen when the baby is born and ask her questions to hear her perspective on something she doesn’t fully understand yet.
It’s better to snuggle a little longer with Jacob while he is still my “baby” and I am not being pulled away by an infant that needs me.
It’s better to fully participate in the fun of taking two toddlers to the park or trick-or-treating.

I already spent too much time in the first three years of parenthood anticipating the next thing for my children or my life. Looking for the next milestone or next development. Those things come regardless of anticipating them.

I have a close friend due about a week ahead of me. It is their first. They had an induction scheduled, so they knew it was their last night at home together sans-baby. I thought so much about them that entire night. They knew it was their last night at home, just them, but they really had no idea what that meant. You can’t know how your life will change and how YOU will change. Adding baby number 3 (I imagine) is not quite the same as the change you experience with number one when you first enter parenthood, but after 2+ years of having a ‘baby’ in my house, I do know that life right now–two toddlers and no nursing baby, is different from what it will be when this baby arrives. It’s more of a change than just having our family grow by a number. This time of just Jacob and Dorothy playing, dancing, doing activities and chores…This time will pass and be a snippet of a memory in my life. By the time this baby is at a toddler age, Dorothy will be nearly five! FIVE… Are you getting it yet? TIME DOES NOT STOP. If anything, I think it speeds up.

 

In a blink, this baby will be here and life will be completely different. And in another blink, it won’t be a baby.

 

 

It’s easy to wish this baby were here now so I could know if it’s a boy a girl and hold it and see it with Dot and Jake–and be done with the preggo belly. But what is two more weeks? It’s two more weeks of this special time with my two toddlers. It’s two more weeks of soaking in the kicks and braxton hicks and the magic that is carrying a life inside.

It’s two short weeks.

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One Simple Change: Daily Pregnancy Stretching

Last Month’s Review: September

GoalWrite letters/Send mail to friends

Fail/Success? Epic Fail!! If you haven’t been able to tell from my blog/vlog upkeep, I’ve been busy. I honestly have had this post in my head for at least 3 weeks, but finding time to write has been tough. My ‘job’ workload has had me busy in the night hours and I am trying to get as much done prior to baby’s arrival next month as possible. During the day I have been going a lot with the kiddos. (And when I am home, there is the regular housework to be done!)

What I got out of it: I can at least say I have sent a lot of snail mail in the past month, just none that were simply for the sake of writing a letter. (I did start one letter!) However, I did send a multitude of thank you notes (for baby gifts and birthday presents), birthday cards and anniversary cards, as well as birthday party invitations for Lou. With many of these I included a personal note of at least a paragraph. Better than nothing right? 

Moving Forward: I have three friends I really wanted to send mail to that I have yet to get anything done with. I have not given up simply because September is over, though. October is full of festive reasons to send cards (birthdays, anniversaries, Halloween), so the mail doesn’t stop. I love that Dorothy helps me so much with cards. We’ve already sent five birthday cards and two anniversary cards in October. My mom was big on cards and I know she got it from her mom, my Grandma Rousculp. It’s a dying trend yet it is such a breath of fresh air to receive real mail. I’d love to pass that on to my kids. 

New Challenge (October)

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Celebrating our 5 year anniversary. Only 1 month until Baby Harris #3 is due! (November 10!)

Goal: Daily stretching and baby prep

Motivation behind the challenge: Everyone who has been through pregnancy knows the final months/weeks are tiresome for many reasons, but mostly because your body is so not itself, it is impossible to stay comfortable. I forget what I was experiencing recently that made Hubs ask if I’d been doing much stretching. I admit, even as a runner for so many years, stretching was never a practice I was great about. I did it before every practice or race, but mainly because I was told to and was doing so with other people. I always felt yoga during pregnancy was a great intention, but one I have never really followed through with pursuing. 

Being that my body is not nearly in the shape it was the first time I delivered a baby, I feel the least I can do is have my muscles more relaxed and prepared for what is to come next month. Stretching will obviously also help my daily comfort level. My goal is to stretch daily, which comes at night after the kids are in bed but before I start my work. Halfway into the month and I have forgotten four days.

Although not part of my ‘challenge’, I also would like to revisit the ‘hypnobirthing’ app I used with Jacob. I heard about this from my sister when it was becoming evident that Jacob was going to go past his due date and I really wanted labor to begin. Some mothers start this early in pregnancy and practice throughout the nine months, making delivery (especially natural) much more relaxed. Even the minor practicing of it I did for a couple of days did help me focus my thoughts and energy through delivery the last time. The pre-exercises gave me visions and ideas to focus on once labor began and I’d like to have that again.

Real Life with Rita: Finding Fall

I admit it. I’ve slacked in the blogging world.

I used to not understand when other bloggers said they’d lost motivation or had writers block. You can always find something to write about, right? I learned that as a journalist with a deadline. But when you have a million other things on your plate… Finding time to write a blog post when no topic is motivating you to sit down usually means it just doesn’t happen.

August was busy, making it hard to focus. But September, I just lost motivation. Maybe it was the fact I was expecting the fall season to begin moving on to fall blog topics, but instead the Bluegrass decided to hold onto the 90-degree weather, making scarves, boots and pumpkin spice lattes not really fit the vibe. Here we all wanted to change out our wardrobes, sip on warm drinks and enjoy the sites and smells of fall, but instead we were still planning trips to the pool to cool off!

The good news is September 22 welcomed the first “official” day of Fall and the following week saw the 60-70 degree days we’d been anticipating. And, given I still have pretty much zero spare time in my life, I do want to get back to my regular blogging.

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Blogging may not have been a high priority last month, but enjoying adventures with the two tots was. While I am anxious to meet our growing peanut (Dorothy named it (him?) George), I am doing my best to get out and have fun with Jake and Lou. Chasing two toddlers wears a mama out, but just imagining what it will be like next year at this time–with three and one that hardly if even walking–is exhausting.

I started the month with a baby shower/girls night. Some of my closest gal pals and I hosted a baby shower for two fellow mamas-to-be. Their due dates sandwich mine in November. (11/4, 11/10, 11/17) but they are both first-time moms. I decided to take the kiddos to Louisville with me the night before the event while Mingus stayed home and had all the husbands at our house for man-activities (including building our garage!) Taking two toddlers for an overnight trip somewhere other than one of the grandparent’s house can be intimidating, but I’ve learned it’s best to roll with it and make it work. It’s good for me and for them. We enjoyed a trip to the neighborhood park before they hit the hay, and then it freed me up for a cozy night of much-needed girl talk with two of my favorite ladies–something I rarely get anymore! We all enjoyed the shower the next day as well. If you have ever gone through pregnancy with a close friend, you know the special bond and joy you share, knowing you’ll have little ones to grow up so closely.

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The next week was low key, but I did make an impromptu shoe-shopping trip for Dorothy. I’d hoped to take on the task at a time when I could have some assistance in order to focus Lou on shoes while someone kept track of wily Jake, but I’ve started forcing myself to worry less about going into ever task with ideal kiddo conditions. It’s better to just take on the task and see how it goes. Even if ends up disastrous… you do survive, you might accomplish a little, and you learn something to help with the next occasion. I definitely learned Once Upon a Child in Lexington was a much better kid consignment choice than Re-Kid. At least with kids in tow. Re-Kid was incredibly too packed (aisle so close together), so unless the kids were right next to me, they were easily out of site. Also the organization was kind of all over the place (particularly when it came to finding shoes in specific sizes easily). Unfortunately, that was my first stop. I did find a couple of pairs of cute boots for Lou, but I wanted out fast! I nearly skipped the second stop, but being that I’d made the trip to Lex and Once Upon A Child was only a few minutes away, it seemed silly not to at least pop in. I’m glad I did and it was much less stressful than the previous stop. In the end, I felt I’d accomplished what I’d come for. Oh, and did I mention the trip included the bonus of a stop to see none other than Holly Jo and her precious girlies.

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Mingus was away the next weekend and we had plans to travel to St. Louis for a wedding shower, but those maternal instincts told me my kiddos needed some deceleration in their lives. Instead we stayed home–went nowhere–all weekend. We had a great time and everyone was in fantastic moods. It even helped move Dorothy through some of the threenager habits she’d been developing and I’ve seen SO much less of it since. Sometimes I think that’s all a toddler needs. We, as parents, are always filling up schedules because of so many invites and options. It is easy to forget how the constant change in routine and going disrupts a little ones life. Sometimes it is our duty as parents to sacrifice the things we’d like to be go-go-going and doing in order to let the kids be kids in their own little peaceful world.

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Despite the warm weather, the kids and I had a week of fun celebrating fall that included nature hikes and afternoons outside. The following week we moved on to apples, which included a trip to Haney’s Appledale Farm to celebrate the first day of fall. It’s just a small farm, but plenty of apples for picking, a play area, picnic tables and treats for purchase. I went with two of my dear friends and their littles. Between three moms we had six under age three (plus my bun in the oven!): two almost-3-year olds, two 18-month olds, and two 3-month olds! It’s days like those that I remember how blessed my life currently is and how much there is to cherish. I know I’ll look back at these ‘good old days’ with my kiddos and friends when times were slow and simple in their own right. Sure, toddlers are exhausting, but spending a day to take in the joy of something as simple as picking apples with friends is what life is all about: the simple joys.

That weekend was our local Apple Festival. It’s the most time I’ve spent at the event since moving back to the area five years ago. Having two kids that could actually enjoy aspects of the festival–and not having to carry any babies–made it a must. Hubs was heavily involved with the fire department, which actually was a huge perk for me. Not only was there a spacious booth right in front of the grassy town hall  lawn where we could easily sit for a break, but it gave me reason to feel welcome at the city fire department building where we could cool off and little Lou could use an actual bathroom and NOT a port-a-pot! We watched the parade, enjoyed some carnival treats, rode some rides–partook in the giant apple pie AND giant cookie.

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The fall weather finally arrived this past week and we laid low at home, but I was happy to be pulling out the long pants and boots and sipping on tea both morning and at night. Now October has arrived and I think it’s safe to call it the fall season. We have less than six weeks until we are a family of five, and I can’t think of a better month to soak up the final days of life as we know it. We’ve already planned a trip to the pumpkin patch and have some birthday fun on the agenda for our soon-to-be 3 year old! Mingus and I are about to hit our 5-year wedding anniversary and, while we may not be doing anything extravagant, I think we have a lot to show for five years. Oh, and who could forget the amazing holiday all about costumes and candy?! I think the only fall-fun I am missing out on is football action! I have some hopes to see our currently undefeated high school team under the Friday night lights in the coming weeks.

Cheers to a Happy October to all of you! Fall is for real now and we know what jolly season follows!

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