Oh Penelope..

You’re the BIG sister! Why is this baby stuff so much fun?!

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frequently asked questions

(besides “uhts dis?” from penelope. that is the most frequently asked question these days..)

q: How was the big surprise?

a: Best. Moment. Ever. We really enjoyed the anticipation during my pregnancy, but nothing could’ve prepared us for meeting our little fella. I’ll never forget Casey peeking over the curtain in the OR, and shouting “It’s a.. BOY?!” He sounded so excited, and shocked. He leaned back over, almost equally surprised to announce that he had a full head of dark hair.

q: How has the transition from 1 to 2 been?

a: Easier than anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments of absolute chaos, frustration, and exhaustion every day (sometimes all at once).. but overall, it is going well. We had a rough go of it last time, and I think that really affected my expectations. I’m so thankful to have had the kids in this order :)

q: What does Penelope think? How is she doing?

a: I think her reaction and transition has been pretty typical. Thankfully she has shown nothing but sweet affection for her little brother, and loves to be a helper. We learned pretty quickly that I need to make special time for her in the day, just me and her, like it used to be. It doesn’t have to be much, but hiding ourselves away and reading a story or playing together, without little brother around, has had a huge impact in her attitude and behavior. I enjoy that special time, too.

q: 2 in diapers? cloth diapers?!

a: Yep. What can I say? I find laundry soothing. Especially when it saves me bundles of money, is healthier for my kids’ skin, and fits so well. Hoping it won’t be 2 for much longer, though. I really need to make potty training my next project. Penelope is ready, to a degree that is almost embarrassing.

q: What do you call Arthur? Is that a family name?

a: We call him Arthur, Art, Arthur-Bear, or sometimes just Bear. Not Artie, ever. Never ever. There were a few sleep-deprived days/nights there in the beginning when none of us (Casey, my mom, and I) could get his name right. I have no idea why, but we called him the strangest things. My mom called him Walter like ten times. Walter, mom– really?

Arthur isn’t a family name, but his middle name is after my dear ole dad.

q: So, what’s Arthur like?

He’s content and easygoing almost all the time. When he is hungry, he cries like he is starving to death. He is a mama’s boy. I know that someday soon he’ll only have eyes for Daddy, so I’m enjoying it. To an extent– those early days when I was desperately tired, and he’d only quiet down for me.. those weren’t so fun. Now, though, it means I get the biggest, goofiest smiles at regular intervals. He likes to cuddle, be held close, practice standing, and stare at Penelope. His favorite thing to do is eat. I can’t imagine a baby more different than Penelope is, and was.. so I’m excited to see how they interact later. It’ll be interesting.

q: Getting enough sleep?

a: Some days. But I imagine that’ll be my answer for years to come. Some nights he has two 5 hour intervals between eating, others it’s 2.5-3 hours. His days are settling into a slightly more predictable routine, I’m sure nights will follow. Because he is so quick to go back to sleep after he eats, it really isn’t that big of a deal. Again, I’m probably seeing this through at-least-he’s-not-screaming-for-hours-at-a-time colored lenses, but that’s okay :).

q: Hardest part?

a: Starting my day with an energetic toddler after a long night with Arthur. Or Casey being so busy. That’s tough, too. It’s the difficulty of this season, though, that makes me so dependent on God and the truth of his word. I’m particularly grateful for the newborn stage in that way. It really does stretch you as far as you can go, and then a little farther. No other time in my life have I felt so keenly that I can’t do it on my own. A prideful heart like mine needs that kind of reminder.

…and that’s about all I have time for right now. If I think of more, I’ll post ’em.. otherwise, feel free to ask. I’ll get around to answering at some point :).

big sister

penelope is adjusting pretty well to life with a sibling. she loves him dearly and hates to hear him cry. his cries are often met with kisses or offers to share blanky/sippy/etc. as expected, she’s also using this transition as an opportunity to retest some well-established boundaries.. but she’s coming around :). having my mom here sure helps– penelope is getting all sorts of extra attention while arthur is in the eat-every-five-seconds newborn stage.

i’m sure there is more i could say about her transition.. but as expected… arthur needs to eat again :)

more later!

snapshots

penelope has been in the silliest of moods… well, for a couple of weeks now. it is really, really funny.

1) no, there is nothing above her..

2) yes, i asked her to smile…

3) no, i did not tell her to impersonate that one girl on 24 who always looks like this…

…and i feel like a ticking time bomb as the due date draws near. i’m getting the trepidatious “is your water about to break?” look everywhere i go. and strangely, as we get closer, any inkling as to baby’s gender has dissipated. i’m less sure now than ever. so much for mother’s intuition :). baby’s birthday will be SO exciting. i can’t wait to know!

video fix, update, etc

penelope girl is big into counting these days. here she is looking at the numbers on a clock with daddy:

another favorite passtime is somersaults. i use this term with the loosest definition possible… you’ll see what i mean when you watch:

general silliness:

her pretty dance. this is the tame version, but she is still pretty shy about dancing for the camera:

…and in baby news:

well, the good news is that baby is doing great! unfortunately, though, i’m measuring the same as i did atĀ  40 weeks with penelope. normally this wouldn’t matter, but because of the extra stress this is putting on the scar from my previous c-section, it means a vbac is becoming less likely. under typical circumstances a vbac has very minimal risk, but certain factors can make it less safe.. including induction, which would be the other logical alternative. while a repeat c-section isn’t our first choice, we’re both really thankful that the safest option is becoming more obvious. if nothing changes in the next week or so, we’re looking at a 2/5 birthday!

yeah. that’s two weeks from friday. (insert freak out here)

the hospital has been working on their wireless internet for patients, so we’re hoping to live-blog again this time, and keep everyone up to speed on that day. there are gender bets that need to be settled, after all :).

…and in casey news:

classes start next week! he’s taking hebrew syntax and exegesis, hermeneutics, and worship leadership. this schedule keeps him on track for a summer ’11 graduation date. can you believe it?! of course, it looks like there is more school up next.. but at least we’re already in that mode.

okay. i planned to write more, but i am officially out of steam. baby is already wearing me out :)

baby honeydew

35 weeks!

Baby is doing great! I’m seeing the doctor weekly now, and still measuring 3-4 weeks ahead. My uterus isn’t thrilled at the prospect of being so stretched, so it is protesting with regular bouts of painful contractions. Doc was able to monitor baby through a few of these contractions today and said that he/she is handling them just fine. Doc assured me that this is pretty typical for a uterus with scar tissue and rapid growth. We’re holding off on the VBAC/repeat cesarian decision till February 1st.. if I’m still measuring ahead at that point, we’ll do an ultrasound and attempt to measure the femur (random, but the most accurate way to estimate size this late in the game), and take it from there. Even if baby isn’t particularly large, excess fluid could be putting extra stress on my uterus.. and we’re trying to minimize the risk of uterine rupture, so that’ll factor into our decision.

It’s a relief to remind myself that even in the midst of complicated yet important decisions, I’m not ultimately in control. Casey and I want to be discerning and not act rashly, but we rest in the truth that our God is sovereign. I couldn’t help but smileĀ  when I read through part of Job tonight. Such a healthy, almost comical, reminder of how ridiculous I can be, to leave an all-powerful creator out of my thought process. I’ll worry, grasp at random statistics, and allow myself to feel wayyyy too much of the burden in such a situation.. missing a perfect opportunity to trust, hope, and find comfort in a perfect, unchanging, good and loving God. You’d think I’d have this down by now. Nope. Not even close.

In other baby news..

My sweet sister-in-law, Beth, threw a baby shower for me in California! It was low-key and very beautifully planned. I had a blast hanging out with family and friends, and baby honeydew is officially spoiled.. already.