I'm Ready

Last night, Christian and I were watching the season finale of The Good Wife. And I realized, I'm ready.

I hit 37 weeks yesterday. Only three weeks left, and I still have tasks that are undone. Rocking chair for newbaby's room? Not ordered. Newborn diapers? Haven't arrived. New camera? Unpurchased, unopened, unlearned. BUT my hospital bag is packed, we have a crib and mattress ready and curtains that have been hung, my iPhone is always at my side, and I'm ready.

Christian told me that personally, he would rather newbaby waited until his or her due date to arrive, but he also acknowledged that it's easy for him to say, since he's not the pregnant one. The eight-months-pregnant-and-taking-care-of-twin-one-year-olds one. I'm that one. And I'm ready.

I've been more at peace with the idea of newbaby's arrival since publishing my last post on the subject. I think writing that post, finally getting a crib, and working on my baby Instruction Manual helped get me there. And then yesterday we visited Christian's parents, and seeing Max and Maggie perfectly at ease with them was a song to my heart. Max and Maggie are ready. Or at least, as ready as they'll ever be.

My family history would indicate that since newbaby is alone in there, he or she isn't coming early; if I follow the pattern established by my mother and sisters, I'll carry past my due date. But newbaby is full term now, kicking and wiggling around inside me, looking for a way out and making me very uncomfortable. I think it's safe to say that newbaby is ready.

I had contractions last night, ones that had me looking at the clock and counting silently to myself. Ones that had me hitching my breath and shifting position. Ones that helped me see, everything necessary is in place.

I was disappointed when those contractions stopped and I was able to rest all night long. Because this is happening. Happening soon. It's going to be difficult, the labor part and the figuring-out-how-to-survive-again part. But it's also going to be okay -- I know that. And I'm ready.


*image via Facebook.


Life Lately

I know I've been a bit absent from the blog lately. And when I say "a bit," y'all know that I haven't posted a word in two weeks. I apologize. Here's what happened:

I hit the 33-week mark in my pregnancy, and I freaked.

Max and Maggie were born at 33 weeks {at least according to my own personal reckoning}, so when I reached that point again, it hit me like a baseball bat in the face that newbaby is coming. Newbaby could, in fact, come at any time. My OBs think that I went into pre-term labor last time because I was having twins, and we don't have a family history of early labor, but it doesn't change the fact that this baby is coming soon. And that was a startling revelation to me.

I'm conflicted. On the one hand I feel like there's too much to get done in this last month. We don't even have a crib yet, for crying out loud. {A third crib, I mean.} Not to mention we're lacking in the departments of second rocking chairs, newborn diapers, nurseries that are finished, hospital bags that are packed, and one-year-olds who can walk.

On the other hand, I want to meet newbaby so bad I can hardly stand it. I'm dying to smell that little head and wonder at how tiny he or she is. I'm ready to see a new face, and to name that face -- the face that's going to be the fifth member of our family. I imagine the moment when I'll get to hold newbaby for the first time, and how magically wonderful it will be, and then my mind fast-forwards to the time when Christian goes back to work and I spend my first day at home with three babies. And how on earth am I going to manage it?? Thinking about going through the bone-dead-tired, my-body-is-unrecognizable, I-wish-I-had-four-more-hands period of survival again is scary.

So in both halves of my mind, I feel stressed. Stressed because I don't know how I'm going to make it another month being so pregnant, trying to take care of twins AND getting prepared for newbaby, and stressed because my life is going to go crazy when my pregnancy is over. Maybe you can see why I've taken an unscheduled break from blogging?

I don't know if it's the stress, or because I always feel at least a little bit tired, or because of something hormone-related, but I've been getting more frustrated lately. I keep losing my patience with the two sweetest babies God put on the earth, finding myself close to yelling at them and then crying because I feel guilty. {And then crying more after seeing their worried little faces.} I don't like yelling, I don't like losing control of my temper, and I certainly don't like lashing out at children who have such tender feelings. Everything just seems so much harder than it did a month ago.

My friend Hannah suggested today that it's just the stage my babes are in. They're everywhere and into everything, learning to communicate but still not understanding a lot. There's a lot of saying patient "no, don't do that"s over and over as they learn their boundaries and what's acceptable. No, don't spit out your food. No, don't drop it on the floor or rub it in your hair. No, don't take toys away from your sister. Don't sit on her. Don't poke her in the eye. No, don't put Mama's phone in your mouth. No, don't pull Mama's hair. No biting. No hitting. No throwing things in the fireplace.

It gets taxing. I'm not the mother I want to be yet. I can tell because when Maggie comes to me and wants to read all the books we own for the third or fourth time in one day, I groan and pass her off to Christian.

I'm trying to have more faith, to remind myself that newbaby is part of God's plan for our family. That everything will be okay and that there will be beauty in our lives that I can't imagine yet. I want to be the positive, strong person that everyone else can rely on; more than that, I know that soon I'll need to be that person.

I don't want this post to come off as just so serious, like I'm in some kind of dire situation. I'm very happy in my life. {I had a good time laughing at myself earlier this week when I went to my {now weekly} OB appointment with Max and Maggie and forgot the stroller at home -- I got a lot of looks carrying them on either side of my massive belly.} I just find myself, as I did at thirteen in my many diaries, feeling the need to express my most melodramatic emotions.

Thank you for indulging me.

*image by Chelsea Fulbright via Flickr


Life is Wonderful

Today was pretty much one of the best days ever. It started when Christian woke me up with a kiss. By far, it's my favorite way to wake up.

Afterward the day was going on a lot like normal. We said family prayer, I helped Max and Maggie wave bye-bye to Daddy, we ate breakfast and watched Oswald and played with Mega Blocks until it was nap time. During naps I worked on newbaby's room; it feels like I've been doing painting prep for days, and I'm still not finished. But holy moly, it felt good to get some work done with no interruptions. {I'm hoping it will someday look like this.}

Eventually Max woke up and we got to have some one-on-one time. He is the sweetest boy, and I love getting to have moments together, just the two of us. It was then that I snapped this picture of him. Isn't he gorgeous?

Then, BOOM. Noon came, Christian's parents came over to watch Max and Maggie, and Christian came home from work to have a middle-of-the-day date with me.

We went out to eat lunch at one of my favorite places. We both had a turkey bacon club {mine with cheddar on toasted white with pickle on the side, Christian's with provolone and no tomato on toasted wheat}, fries, and Coke. Boy, does newbaby love when I drink Coke.

We went to see The Hunger Games, and agreed that it was an excellent movie. We had fun talking in the car with the windows down. We ran an errand to pick up curtain rods I ordered online and ended up buying a pink Easter dress for Maggiebaby {it was too cute to pass up}.

I was missing my babes on our way home, and was so happy to see them again. I love my little family; it almost surprises me how much sometimes.

I always feel safe, though, leaving the babies with their Grammie and Grandpa Plautz; there's such a good relationship there. Whenever we come home, they always say wonderful things like "They did so well! They were happy and sweet and adorable the entire time! We loved it!" As a mother with children who aren't always easygoing around people who aren't their parents, it's balm to my soul to hear these things when I've been away. {Unlike when Christian and I went to see Les Mis and later learned that Maggie screamed the entire time -- that stressed me out for more than a week afterward.}

At one point after we got home, Max and Maggie had an impromptu game of peekaboo in the living room curtains that left them in fits of laughter. I've never seen anything so perfect.

After dinner and more playing {and some more work in newbaby's room for me}, Max wasn't feeling well. He's had an ear infection, terrible diaper rash and possibly some teething, all of which meant that I got to cuddle him against me for a few minutes. And at bedtime we snuggled together. When I went to put him in his bed he looked over at Maggie and started laughing -- I think they have the most fun together when we leave them alone in their room.

Christian and I had a conversation this evening about how laughably easy our lives would be if we only had one baby. {Please forgive us, parents of singletons. We'll never really understand what it's like.} We looked into the future and tried to guess when things might be some kind of normal again. We agreed that our Achilles' heel as a couple was our love of babies; we make life harder for ourselves than it needs to be, simply because we can't say no to more children. And while it is hard, it seems to be a much better weakness than, say, living outside of our means or being terrible drivers.

Today was just what I needed. I've been stressed about my pregnancy {on one hand, I'm worried that newbaby will come early and we're just not ready yet; on the other, how am I going to make it through six more weeks of my third trimester while caring for two one-year-olds?}, and my body is worn out. It felt so good to spend time with Christian away from home, so I could enjoy it that much more when I came back.


Why I Read

We had family over for dinner on Sunday, and at one point I glanced over and saw that my brother-in-law's girlfriend was looking at books with Maggie. She had three books in her hand, and showed each of them to Maggie, letting her pick one to read. And Maggie was enthralled. The books weren't even open yet, but she was just captivated. I knew that she loved books, but since she sits in my lap when we read, I hadn't seen that look of interest and concentration on her face. And I thought, "Why does this baby girl love books so much? What is it about them that draws her in?"

A few months ago, I was reading a dear friend's blog post in which she discussed why she reads. {I hope she doesn't mind that I'm mentioning her; I didn't tell her I was writing this post beforehand.} I wasn't surprised by what she said, because it's something that we've talked about before, but what she said stuck in my mind because my own reasons have always been so different. Since then I've been pondering why I read books, and I think I'm ready with my answer.