Sunday, May 24, 2015

Updates: Faith, Lila and Baby

I thought I'd stop in with a few updates and pictures that have been on my mind to share.

We finished up Faith's year of therapy and pre-preschool.  Looking at the goals she had this time last year, I am reminded how much she has accomplished in the last 12 months.  I'm so proud of that girl and her tenacity and spunk.  She never stops moving and never seems content with her current skill set - something I am so grateful for, but also that lends itself to much angst for the child without words to verbalize her frustrations.

Her speech continues to be the thing I'm the most concerned about.  I have another appointment for her next week with the audiologist to check her hearing since her speech does not seem to be on track with her other developmental milestones.  Her large motor and fine motor are both doing really well.  She loves coloring and I have way too many pictures in my phone that basically look the same because I think she's so cute when she's focused hard on her drawing.
Exhibit A

Exhibit B
 I mean, how cute is that??

She's taken to hugging people with enthusiasm which is perhaps the most life-giving thing you could possibly imagine happening to you.  Sometimes it's a hug in greeting, sometimes it's a hug as she's leaving, or sometimes, it's just that she spotted you across the room and was overcome with how much she likes you.  Today she hugged me twice in about 5 minutes, each time when I entered the room from the adjacent room.  "Mommy!  You're back from the kitchen! Hooray!" she seemed to say.  Her sweetness and affection are really too much for me to handle sometimes.

On the other end of the spectrum, she Houdini'd her way out of her crib today when she was supposed to be napping and ended up with a bloody lip and a goose egg on her forehead.  When I ran (and I use "ran" in the most pregnant sense of the word) up there after I heard the stomach-lurching thud and then wail, I found her looking indignant and sitting next to her crib with Lila's Ursula doll (of Little Mermaid infamy) inexplicably dangling from her hair.  I didn't notice the blood at first, but then suddenly it was everywhere and I couldn't tell from where it originated so, naturally, I panicked.  Lila kicked into Big Sister mode (what would I do without that girl?) and ran to get an ice pack and washcloth to try to stop the bleeding while I wiped the blood away from Faith's mouth and chin and tried to find the source.

In the end, as these things usually go, Mommy was much more traumatized than the kid and within a few minutes, Faith was pushing my hand and the icepack away in irritation as she tried to get down and go about her business of destroying any semblance of order in our house.

We HAD planned a surprise visit to First Mama and Baba at their restaurant as a sort of belated Mother's Day celebration, but if you think I'm going to march Faith into the restaurant with a bloody lip when First Mama can't help herself from commenting that she thinks Faith is cold every time she sees her, well, you're wrong.  We'll be postponing our unscheduled visit until Faith's lip and forehead are more normal colors.

Lila had her last day of preschool last week and I cried like the hormonal pregnant woman I am.  I was feeling a little teary as I pulled into the parking lot, but I managed to get it together as I walked up the stairs.  However, then I was greeted by this outside of her room:

And I said out loud, "Now that's just mean!" and promptly lost my composure as big fat tears dripped down my face.  How is she done with preschool already?? How is it possible that she'll be in KINDERGARTEN next year??  How? HOW?????

I told her teachers that I wouldn't be so sad if they hadn't given Lila such a fantastic year.  It's their fault, really.  If only they hadn't been so consistently amazing and loving and awesome, this would be much easier!

I'm so grateful for the year Lila has had in the Green Room.  She has learned so much academically, but more importantly, she has grown and matured as a person with their care and counsel.  I truly felt like they "got" her - which did so much for my mommy heart.

Yesterday I realized how much I LOVE five years old.  Five years old is my favorite so far.  She's SO. FUN.  She's hilarious and innocent and just exploding with creativity and energy.  She's independent, but still needs me.  She's snuggly.  She's irrational.  She's emotional.  She's loving.  She's reckless.  She's just awesome.  She asks if she can play outside in the backyard and I can say yes without hesitation and then listen to her sing her lungs out (alternating between songs about how much she loves Jesus and Katy Perry's Firework - no joke - I'm sure our neighbors can't quite figure us out!) while she pumps her legs wildly on the swings.  My heart just swells with the joy of childhood watching her fly back and forth through the air.

When you're five, the world is still magical.  Things like mastering jumping rope and cutting a "perfect" circle are worthy of celebratory squeals.  And when Daddy asks if you want to play catch with your pink ball and "mitten," it is a requirement that you run upstairs to change into your "baseball clothes" before you can commence playing.
I asked her why she stood like that before she threw the ball and she said, "I saw it on the Royals."
I bought her some of those beads you put on a pegboard and then melt together with an iron.  (I'm sure there's a name for them, but I bought them IKEA and we all know that IKEA's product names are ten kinds of ridiculous so I have no idea what to call them.)  I intended to save them until after the baby is born for a day when I was desperate to give her something to do, but she kept asking what they were and - to be honest - I wanted to play with them, too.  So we spent a good two hours playing with them today.  She probably said ten times, "I love doing activities like this with you."  (Heart = melted) She also called me "Amazing Mommy" when I rescued one of her projects that started breaking because I hadn't ironed it long enough.  I told her I'd do just about anything she wanted if she called me "Amazing Mommy" when she asked me.  I'm on high alert for when she decides to cash that one in!

She's just the best.  Brimming with talent and oozing sweetness.  She told me today that she doesn't ever want to grow up and I'm totally okay with that.

I think this baby is going to be a drama queen because she's certainly causing lots of excitement during her gestation.  What with the morning sickness lasting 30+ weeks and my little hospital visit a few weeks ago, you'd think we'd be done with the excitement.  Our little drama queen says, "Not so!"

I found out last week that I have gestational diabetes.  I cried for most of the day when the nurse called to tell me.  At the time, I was still dealing with near daily nausea and the thought that I couldn't eat a box of Wheat Thins or have a piece of toast when that's all that sounded good was just more than I could handle in the moment.  Once I met with the dietician, I felt a lot better about my life.  And really, despite the inconveniences, the adjustment hasn't been all that horrible.  There have been moments when I've felt really sorry for myself, but for the most part the discipline has been good for me and I think being more intentional about eating regularly and having snacks in between has helped my nausea.

That being said, this pregnancy has been really hard and I am ready to hold the baby that my body has worked so hard to grow and sustain.  I think we've decided on a name, but I'm not confident enough to share it here.  We have been rather fickle with her name, but Lila has taken to calling her one of the names we have been considering and the more she says it, the more it feels right so I think that's who Baby Girl will be.  Still, I feel like we may have to wait to meet her before we know for sure the name fits her.

I've been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions and I said to the Husband tonight that some days I really doubt I'll make it to my due date.  It just seems like she might come early.  Now, watch me go past my due date in the middle of a July heatwave - that would be keeping with the theme of this pregnancy!

We've been working on the nursery (pictures to come once I get things hung on the wall) and the reality of having three children is starting to settle on me in a real way.  (Eeeek!)

For the most part, I feel like I haven't really had time to process much of what is going on in my life because of all the chaos and every day minutia that takes up most of my brain space.  (Which might explain the floodgates opening on Lila's last day of preschool!)  But here's what I know: I married a good man.  I'm pregnant - which for many years was a far-off and distant hope - and about to add a third daughter to our family.  I have great kids who keep me busy and remind me why all of the puking and finger-pricking is worth it.  And, most importantly, Jesus tends our little flock like a shepherd.  He carries my lambs in his arms.  He gently leads those that have young.

I'm once again brought to my knees in gratitude for the big and small ways he tends and carries and gently leads.  In a season of my life when I have needed heaping doses of tenderness, He has yet to fail me.  I've definitely had moments of feeling totally overwhelmed and helpless, but they've always been met with just what I need in the form of friends who bring me low-carb and delicious mini muffins and Chipotle gift cards, or simply a good night's sleep.  I have had friends sit and cry with me over the disappointments and hardships of the last 6 months and I have had friends make me laugh so hard I peed my pants (which, unfortunately, is not all that uncommon of an occurrence these days).  All of these things were small mercies heaped onto big ones - reminders that God knows my most intimate needs right along with my most trivial needs and they all matter to him.

We have battles before and behind us and big change a-comin' but we will have what we need.  I'm sure of it.