Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Paradox of Preschool

First, let’s just say it.  It goes fast.  No, wait.  It doesn’t.  But it does.

I send my 3rd child off to pre-k tomorrow morning and while there have been days that have lasted, I swear it, 50+ hours, the past 5 years have just zipped on by.

I remember the hot summer of my pregnancy with him, my ever-swollen ankles.  I remember how we arrived at the hospital a mere 11 minutes before he was born {let’s be honest…I’ll never ever forget that}.  I remember his first smiles, in the baby swing that was set up in the kitchen in our first home that was never meant for 5 humans to share.  I remember his first steps, and the hours we spent in speech therapy waiting on the first words.  I remember wiping tears from my eyes when he looked up at the night sky and exclaimed “dark!”, one of the first spontaneous words he spoke.  All of this talk about speech is funny, because now the same child never stops talking.  Ever.

Before I lose you, never fear…I remember the other things, too.  I remember cleaning out pair after pair of underwear as we potty-trained {he wasn’t easy}.  I remember throwing lots of them away, too.  I remember wondering why on earth I ever thought having a third child was a good idea {that was just this morning}.  I remember the throw-down fit we had in the middle of an elementary school assembly we were attending for the older two kids.  I remember the 30-minute tantrum because the bag containing his cookie from Starbucks wasn’t folded correctly.

Amidst all these tender and not-so-sweet moments catalogued forever in my brain, it’s time to decorate the assigned tote bag, don the laminated name tag, and send this boy off to pester another woman for 3 hours per day.

And that, right there, is the paradox of it all.  I have been earnestly waiting for this spirited child to spend a few hours away, to have a break, to not answer 5,000 questions about dogs and microwaves and rocketships and q-tips.  He has a little brother who will relish the alone time with mom, and the 3 hours will be filled with errands and work and glorious trips to Target with only one child.

But on this, the eve of the big send-off, I’m wondering if I can’t just have another week.  Just a little more time enjoying the child who pushes the envelope and is a pioneer into the realms of his mother’s sanity.  I want a break from him, and I simultaneously want more time with him.  Now that it’s here, I’m wondering how it came so quickly.

In the morning we’ll surely make more memories for me to file away; his nervous smile as he walks in, his gleeful hug as I pick him up.  In a few weeks’ time we’ll have a new routine, and I will wonder what I did before preschool {and then in June I’ll swiftly remember}. 

This is nowhere near the end, but it is something.  And like many of the ‘somethings’, this one pulls at the heartstrings a little.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Photo Dump for Emily

Emily is using some photos of Max for a project she's doing {paparazzi much?}, and I was going to just email these to her, but it occurred to me that the Grandmas might enjoy seeing them.  Feast your eyes.

 Ah, I love this photo.  I look like I got hit by a truck.  Because I did.  The hard, fast labor truck.

 3 weeks in, and Henry still loves Max.  So thankful.

 See that envelope in the background?  Those are the films of my crooked back to show the anesthesiologist before my epidural is given.  Still not over it.

 Love this.

This picture is blurry, but I don't care.  It's a precious moment that I'll never, ever forget.

Overall, I was pretty bummed that we didn't bust the camera out until Max was born.  It's probably good, otherwise he'd have been born in the hallway or something.  I was so excited to take some really fun shots of the actual labor process, but Max meant business.

The other 'missed moment' was the final full-belly shot as we left for the hospital.  I was mad that we forgot, but then again, that might have made for a hallway {or car!} delivery.  So we took one as we came home.  I have the full-belly shots of me in this exact location with Ella and Henry, right as we were leaving for the hospital, hence the belly shot here.

Ah, third children and their rough upbringing.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Welcome to the World, Max Peffley

Ella’s labor was 24 hours, and Henry’s was 16 hours.  I’d heard that the third baby can come faster, but I was wholly unprepared for this:

I woke up Wednesday morning having a few contractions.  They were about 10 minutes apart and mildly painful.  I got the kids fed and dressed, and after Ella was at school, Henry and I ‘relaxed’ by downloading 5 new dumptruck apps for the ipad..  Some friends came over to play at 10:30, and by then, my contractions were gone.  I was bummed that they’d died off.

After we got Ella from school and I laid the kids down for a nap, I decided to take a nap as well {I never EVER do this}.  When we all woke up, I took the kids on a 2-mile walk, pushing them both in the stroller.   I felt great on the walk, and decided there was no way I was having a baby anytime soon if I could push 100 pounds of kids for two miles and feel fine.

Nic called and was going to be late getting home, so I pushed the kids on the swingset for awhile and then made dinner.  As I was getting Henry ready for bed around 6, I noticed a few contractions.  Around 6:30, I decided to start timing them.  They were about 10 minutes apart and were actually starting to hurt.  At 6:30, I called my friend and doula, Anna, and we decided I should eat dinner, take a shower, and monitor them over the next hour.  I got Ella settled for bed, and by the time I got out of the shower, they were 2-3 minutes apart and painful, but only lasting for 40 seconds {I still thought it was maybe false labor because they weren’t very long…idiot}.

I talked to Anna, and she decided to head over and help me decide what to do.  I also let Nic know that he should probably come home soon.  By the time they both got to our house {at about 7:35}, I knew we needed to get to the hospital.  I thought I was maybe 4 centimeters dilated or something, but I was going to die if I didn’t get an epidural.

We called my mom, Nic’s mom, and Nic’s parents’ house.  No one was answering their phones, and I started to stress out even more.  Luckily, we were able to reach Nic’s brother, Brent, and he was there by the time we were done getting our things packed.

Contractions were still about 2-3 minutes apart, lasting about a minute, and suuuuuuper painful at this point.  When Anna saw my face during the contractions, she was pushing us out the door.  Driving to the hospital was terrible, and I was feeling like a total loser for being such a wimp.  I fully expected to get to the hospital, get checked, and be 4-5 centimeters at the most.

When we got to the door, I got right out of the car.  I didn’t care if Nic or Anna was with me; I needed that epidural.  The lady at the check-in desk and I had a conversation like this:

Me:  I’m in labor.
Lady:  Okay, when is your due date?
Me:  Saturday.
Lady:  How exciting!  And how far apart are your contractions?
Me:  {pauses for a contraction}
Lady:  {eyes open wide}
Me:  2-3 minutes, lasting for a minute
Lady:  Okay then.  And what baby is this?
Me:  #3.
Lady:  {eyes open even wider} Ooooookay!  I’ll call right now!  Ok!  Let’s call back!

I sat in the chair for a few minutes while they ‘found’ me a room.  At this point, I was starting to lose control.  Anna and Nic made it in, and Anna was putting pressure on my back, which helped a little.  There was a poor, poor couple sitting there, waiting on a tour.  Sorry lady, this is what real labor looks like.

They got me the world’s most awkward wheelchair, and wheeled me back.  Having had two epidurals before, I knew that it takes about an hour before you have enough IV fluids to be able to get the epidural.  I was begging {read:  shouting} to be taken to a room so I could have the IV right away.

They took me to the triage room, and I was SO MAD.  I was shouting at everyone who would listen that I did NOT want to waste time in the triage room; I needed the epidural RIGHT NOW.  Literally, screaming my head off.  Totally not in control of the pain.  Since my other labors were so long, I just thought for sure I was in for a long night, and I wanted the pain to go away.

They asked me to undress and put on a gown before they checked me.  I definitely didn’t wait for the door to be shut, ripped my clothes off, and got the gown on ASAP.  The nurse checked me, and I shouted at her to get me the epidural right then.  She got a funny look on her face, and I just knew.  I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

I was screaming at her {the poor, poor thing}, asking how far dilated I was.  I was completely shocked when she said 8.5 centimeters.  No wonder I was in pain:  I was in transition!

Then I really started to freak out.  I knew in my heart of hearts that I was going to have to do this without any pain meds, and that just wasn’t my plan.  I’d already given up control, and I was screaming at everyone in the hallway that I couldn’t do it.

They got me transferred to my labor room, and we happened to see that couple taking a tour.  I’m afraid I wasn’t on my best behavior, and continued to shout at everyone in sight about an epidural.  It’s what you’d imagine a scene from a sitcom would look like.  Oh well.  Just a taste of reality for her.

Anyway, we got to the room about 2 minutes later at 8:25 {this is less than an hour after Nic got home from work….so glad we live so close to the hospital}, and I was checked again:  fully dilated.  If it’s not clear by this point, I was freaking out.  I was begging anyone who would listen that I needed that epidural.  They were all very nice, and were trying to find a way to tell me that it just wasn’t going to happen.  The OB was still at home, so they called her on in, though I’m sure they didn’t think she’d get there.

Miracle of miracles, she did get there.  At this point, I was literally pulling my hair out, trying to get the pain to go somewhere else.  Like I said, I’d totally lost control.  She broke my water at 8:32 {she must also live freakishly close}, and encouraged me to try a few pushes.  Breaking my water did relieve a lot of pressure, and she told me that if it looked like the baby wasn’t going to come quickly {I was at a +3, so I’m sure she knew how fast it was going to happen}, we could try to get an epidural in {still didn’t have an IV at this point}.

I pushed twice, maybe three times, and the baby’s head was out.  I was still screaming at the top of my lungs that I was going to give up.  I was so sure I couldn’t do it.  I was begging them to just pull the baby out, or better yet, just cut the baby out.  The doctor politely refused {she really was a saint, with all of my screaming and carrying on} and explained that she wouldn’t be cutting the baby out.

I pushed one more time, and Max Peffley was born at 8:41, 16 minutes after we got into the room.  I obviously never planned for this to be a natural birth, but it sure was.  In the world of TMI, no stitches needed, so I'm feeling fantastic.  One glitter crown and gold medal for me, thankyouverymuch.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Our Summer Project

I just posted this over on our house blog, but wanted to post it here, too.  Because I'm obsessed.


It's the moment you've all been waiting for.  The moment where I give you more information and more photos than you wanted about the project that took just a little bit of our souls.

Just as a refresher, we started here.  And then got crazy with some serious structural changes.  Behold, the finished project:

It just makes our kitchen and family room feel SO BIG.  The funny thing is that we gained ZERO square footage, and absolutely no additional living space.  Really, we just gained a countertop {which is AMAZING}, and some open space.  Proof that more is less.

For the color scheme of the kitchen/family room, I went with gray, light blue/gray, and navy with accents of coral, teal, and red.  It sounds busy, but I've been super happy with how it all pulls together.  Very soothing.

The pendant lights are from Lowe's, Allen + Roth.  They take the Edison bulbs, but other than that, we looooove them.  And at $50 a pop, they're a pretty good deal.

After great and serious deliberation, we painted the family room, hallway, and kitchen the color of our bedroom:  hidden cove.  The original plan was to go with the ever-popular Rockport Gray, but we got the sample pot {ALWAYS get the sample pot, guys}, and I didn't *love* the way it looked with our backsplash and granite.  And every woman deserves to love her kitchen, am I right?

I absolutely love the way a soft blue-gray plays off of our white cabinets and blends well with the cool undertones of our backsplash and granite.  I was pretty nervous about having a decisively blue living space, but I'm so glad we made the plunge.

Here's a shot of the laundry doors and countertop {and also shows how it is open to the family room}.  For the countertops, our long-term plan is to go with a solid white top {quartz or corian}.  For now, though, we just put a piece of white plyboard on top, and sanded and sanded and sanded.  Then added some trim to the edges, and painted it with our cabinet primer {Zinsser} and paint {Sherwin Williams' Pro Classic tinted to Benjamin Moore's Simply White}.  It looks great, and has held up really well all summer long.  We don't really use this counter space as 'prep space' in the kitchen, so that might help, but we think it's a fantastic short-term solution.

Aren't the laundry doors cool?  I Pinterested around {totally a legit word} and gave Nic some images of barn doors.  I wanted something with character, but not something totally crazy.  And he delivered!  I painted them with the cabinet paint and used simple window sash hardware as the closure.

They definitely swing wide when opened, but it's not an issue since they're only opened when I'm switching laundry loads.  One thing we love is that we can't hear the washer or dryer at all when the doors are shut {which is important because these puppies are literally in the middle of our living space}.

We did need to put these wheels on the doors to offer support since they are so big and heavy.  I love them though; I think it adds some character.

As for laundry storage {one of my top concerns}, we obviously could have quickly and easily built something that fit between the washer and dryer.  I was taking a stroll through Target one day, though, and found this 'desktop organizer' for like 12 bucks.  I added some casters and some cute hardware {also Target!}, and it works perfectly.

So here's what we started with:

And here's where we are:

We're just so happy with how it all turned out!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

7 Things About Team Green

As you know, we're not finding out the gender of this babe.  I've always wanted to be surprised, and Nic never does.  Now that we have a boy and a girl, I was able to sway him.  Here are 7 things about being 'team green' that I didn't know.
  1. People love to say, "Well, I like to be prepared".  I understand this sentiment, I really do.  Preparing for a baby whose gender is a surprise is different than preparing for a baby whose gender you know.  However, that doesn't mean that we're NOT preparing.  In our case, we have boy clothes and girl clothes, so I'm washing both in the itty-bitty sizes.  I made some burp cloths that work for boy or girl.  I'm making a gray and white quilt for the baby.  I'm preparing a place in our room for the baby to sleep {which is where baby will sleep no matter what gender}.  I'm prepared.
  2. It drives people crazy.  Oh man!  I had no idea people cared about this.  So many of our friends and family members are pretty perturbed that we don't know boy or girl.  It amuses me that people care that much, but maybe I should be flattered?
  3. People love to say, "that's the way it should be".  I don't know why this drives me crazy, but it does.  There isn't a way it 'should' be.  People can do whatever they want!  If they want to find out the gender beforehand, great.  If not, great.  I've been surprised at how opinionated people are about this.
  4. It's hard.  Maybe this is because we've found out beforehand with Ella and Henry, but it has been harder than I anticipated.  About 2 days after the 20-week ultrasound, I was seriously bummed.  I would hope and hope and hope at each appointment that I'd get another ultrasound.  But now, at 34 weeks, I'm so happy that we're still 'Team Green'.  I think I just needed to get used to the idea.
  5. It's fun.  I've enjoyed thinking about whether this will be a boy or a girl.  I definitely don't have any 'feelings' at all either way, and I'm carrying completely different from either one of my other pregnancies.  I'll go a few weeks thinking it's a boy, and then a few weeks thinking it's a girl.  Another thing that has been fun is being able to sort through and wash boy clothes and girl clothes.  We'll be taking some of both to the hospital {and have some of both ready at home}, so it adds to the fun and anticipation.
  6. Bonding has nothing to do with knowing the gender.  This is probably one of the top 'concerns' people have.  They assume that since we're Team Green, we can't 'bond' with the baby or that we don't care.  We do care, and whether or not you know the gender, there is still a little life inside of you.  
  7. It makes us REALLY excited for labor!  I'm anticipating giving birth more than ever.  I just can't wait!
Our 'going home' outfits.  Girl is from Ralph Lauren {thrifted}, boy is from Petunia Pickle Bottom {outlet and Henry's going home outfit}.

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Baby

So both Ella and Henry have their special blankets that they sleep with each night.  Ella's is made from minky fabric and came with her crib bedding set, and is named 'cozy'.  I made Henry's when he was about 6 months old and I felt bad for him because he didn't have a super soft, thick blanket.  I used flannel and some minky-ish fabric.  His is name 'wankie'.

So, of course, No. 3 needed a special blanket.  Awhile ago, I'd pinned a beautiful herringbone quilt that seemed easy enough to make; just triangles pieced together.  I had a garage sale a few months back and used that time of just sitting in the garage and watching my ankles swell {sitting is what does it for me} to get started.  I used white flannel, and then was mad because I couldn't find gray flannel.  I was scared to order it online because I'm crazy picky about gray.  So I just used some Kona cotton.

I used 8x8 squares {cut into triangles}, and then after I had the front completely done, I decided to start over.  I know it seems crazy to start over after all that work, but two things:  1. I found some gray flannel locally, and really wanted the whole front to be flannel, and 2. I really wanted the pattern to be smaller.  I know myself well enough to know that if I didn't *love* it, I'd spend the next 10+ years staring at my kid snuggling with it, wishing I'd just started over.

So I did, using 5x5 squares, and flannel for both the white and gray.  Soooo much better.  For the back, I just used some minky fabric, and I didn't use a filling or batting of any kind.  I don't love baby blankets with batting since they aren't as flexible.

I used a zig-zag pattern to quilt it {just following the pattern of the front}, and it was pretty easy.  I'd read some things online that discouraged any type of 'patterns' on a regular machine, but I had my heart set on it.  I just pinned it *really* well, and took my time.  I think it looks great, and much better than a square quilting would have looked with the herringbone pattern.

The binding is a perfect yellow flannel that I found at Joann's.  I obsessed over this binding.  I'd known from the beginning I wanted the gray and white herringbone, but couldn't picture the binding.  I thought  seriously about a gray and white stripe {and actually bought the fabric}, but then decided it should be a solid color.  I bought a deep teal and this yellow, and decided to go with the yellow.  I know it's super trendy right now, but I just love yellow so much.

It was so fun to spend the time making this quilt.  Since we don't know the gender + we already have tons of clothes for boys and girls, this was one of my 'big' projects.  I'm so happy to have such a beautiful blanket to snuggle this babe in!