Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Birth Eve / Truths

Today I learned that pedicures at home with three children are better than pedicures at salons. Seriously... I got the job done, stayed relaxed through the whole thing and made some awesome memories. Don't believe me? Check it out...

And now that I have posted photos of the boys getting pedicures, I'll post one of me, with morning hair, no make-up and the "Big Belly" as Lily started to call me tonight....

A couple more truths for you tonight:
- I'm due at the hospital in eight hours.
- When I rocked Colby to sleep tonight and sang a couple choruses of "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always / As long as I'm living, My baby you'll be," I cried.
- I'm ready. I'm only a tad nervous, mostly because I'm so close to go time, and knowing I need a bath, a journal and a good night's sleep.
- I have faith that all will go well, that God will be by my side.

Goodnight and Godspeed, little man!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's the Final Countdown

So we're in Final Countdown mode around here. However, since I've been nesting for a good month, we're ready for game time. I have decided, though, that the longer you have, the more you do. There are always more bills to pay, laundry to beat, toenails to paint. My to-do list the past two days has been slaughtered. Tomorrow, I relax. We'll head to a second birthday party for my niece Brooklyn tomorrow night, and it will be "go time" before we know it!

I've had fun playing with my new phone--a Droid Incredible--the past couple of days. Wow, kids. It really is amazing what today's smart phones can do!!! So this is good news for you all, with your picture-hungry eyes and your natural human curiosity to know as much as you can as soon as you can. (I know the feeling.) We'll be posting photos and maybe even blog posts from the comfort (discomfort?) of our hospital room.

I also have to remember to shoot one final video of the Roberts kids while their number is still three tomorrow night. And it's always incredible to look back on one last moving image of the amazing belly that the final weeks of pregnancy bring.

Soon, I'll be breathing through it, keeping my eye on the prize, and then nuzzling a new miracle.

See you all on the other side!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Blessing of a Girlfriend

Today is my best girlfriend's birthday. Happy Birthday, baby girl!

I am thankful that 31 years ago a four-pound preemie made her early entrance into this world. I'm thankful she was a fighter and did well and grew up to play saxophone with me in the band. Saxes are sexy!

I'm so thankful for all the inside jokes. Take the bull by the horns!

I'm happy for so many memories of drinks shared around campfires at Lake Tweet. For that one blessed year that we lived together at 36 Morris Avenue and the funny times we spent on the roof.

I'm so glad to know the blessing of a best girlfriend.

For all the times we've had, the discussions we've shared, the times we've saved each other from ourselves and all that is yet to come: happy birthday, sweetheart. I love you! I am elated your day has been so happy.

January just might be a good month for a birthday after all...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Courage, Serenity and Wisdom

Another snow day... We finally escaped the house tonight for a trip to the mall for dinner and so the kids could play in the new play area. And, of course, another necessity trip to Wal-Mart. (It's always something!)

I have a lot of friends, mostly fellow mothers, who are sick of the snow. I'm in a tempered state of acceptance right now in my life, where I don't really allow myself to will anything away. Maybe it's the whole "waiting-on-a-baby" mode I'm in: I'm trying to be patient, ready and serene so that when it's my time, I'll be strong and in the moment.

So... I'm trying to keep my sanity, keep my voice down, keep my chicks happy and calm. I'm in the limbo of feeling done with something and yet knowing I should soak up its finality.

Here are some snaps of how we spend our snow days.

Oh, and here's a shot of Colby and his lookalike cousin, Brooklyn Jane, who--if God doesn't decide otherwise--will graciously share her birthday, 1/27, with my last babe.

Thanks, sweetie!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Home Stretch

Ahhhh, the home stretch. I'm finally here. I'm officially on maternity leave. I just had to do it.

I'm 37 weeks tomorrow and hoping to get to the OB's office for my appointment and to schedule an induction (maybe for some time next week?) tomorrow before the snowstorm hits.

I really am feeling well, in spite of the pressure, back pain, killer heartburn and other assorted ailments. Mr. Colby is giving me a blessed week or two of very good sleep. The little man has decided, finally, he likes to be in his own crib all night! Mysteriously, he has woken up at 6:36 a.m. the last three days. Have you other moms experienced that deja vu? Each of my kids have gone through their own strange periods of waking at the EXACT time each day. How does that happen??

Anyway. I am on my way to the finish line here. My feelings are mixed in that I so love pregnancy, newborns and those early days and weeks of life. And this is it. This really is the final babe.

But I continually strive to keep my eyes, mind and heart wide open. I'm cataloguing moments. I'm achingly aware that this time of my life, with all its work, repetition and sheer exhaustion, might well be the time I will miss most as I age and as my children grow.

I am in the home stretch of my childbearing days. I am finishing chapters and beginning new ones.

My sincere thanks to Kristin Pottmeyer for helping me to preserve this time with the most gorgeous images I could have imagined. There are more to come, more family photos with the final, precious branch to be taken.

And I am ever sure that "these are my reasons."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Standing on the Cusp

I had my maternity photos taken by the lovely and talented Kristin Pottmeyer on Saturday and have just received the above "sneak peek." It was a bit cold and a lot of fun, and I can't wait to see the rest.

I'm on the cusp of giving birth to my final child, and all is well. I'm peaceful and happy. I'm feeling pretty good.

Today is another day home with the kids. I've got some laundry and dishes to do, as always, but I think I'm just crazy enough to get out my scrapbooking mess and make one last attempt to catch up before the baby arrives. I won't actually catch up, but it's a good thing to get closer to the goal.

And for today, that sounds like a good plan: get closer to the goal. Contract and release and continue to send up prayers for a healthy baby and a blessed birth experience.

And, also, to tell the kids about MLK, Jr. and his beautiful dream.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Strong, Yummy, Unhearing MEN

I take this hunky man as my husband in sleeplessness and in slumber.

How can it be? How can men--or, at least, my man--not hear wailing kids right beside them in the dead of night? How is it that I truly am mother: sleeping with one eye open, one foot on the floor, ready to go at the first cry?

I've done a lot of thinking about sleep lately. I'm up several times a night, often with an active mind that keeps me from falling back to sleep too easily. But I think I'm also a little obsessed with it because I know I'll soon be getting less of it, much less.

It really is amazing what the human body can do despite months and months of sleep deprivation. I have experienced my tired body carrying kids, keeping a house, safely driving a vehicle and even contributing at work. For me, it means headaches and weight loss and longing. But I know I'm about to do it all again, and I'll make it through.

But Shrek? Forget it.

Last night, each of the boys was up twice. Colby has improved a lot with his sleep habits in the past month or two. The first time he woke up, I went to his room and found his binky for him, and he was back to sleep in his crib in seconds. Then Max woke up. Poor kid has his mysterious fever virus again. So I doctored him up, and he, too, went back to sleep. The second time he woke up, I kicked Shrek and said, "Can you go? It's either Max or Colby. I think it's Max." So he went to investigate. I woke up to Colby's cries a few hours later, around 6 a.m. Shrek was not in bed, so I knew he must have lain down with Max. I gathered Colby to my bed and tried to get him to go back to sleep. No dice.

So, to the couch for us, for a snugglefest and then the news and weather. And Max and his daddy slept until 8. I picked the wrong kid last night!

As true as all this is, this narrow gap in ages between Colby and the new babe is going to force more help from Daddy, at all hours. So then we'll both be really sleep-deprived and short in temper. It will be tough, but we'll make it.

Because damned if he can't hear at night, I love my man and all the great things he brings to my life and to the lives of our kids.

So I'll keep kicking and asking for help when I need it. And I'll sleep when I'm dead.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dance Party USA

Wow. What a day! A snow day in so many ways, and the kids were rotten. I worked from home a bit. I took them to the sitter's this morning, thinking I could get at least four hours of intense work done, but then the snow started sticking enough that I got nervous and went to pick them up earlier than planned. The rest of the day went kind of downhill, but ah well. It stabilized tonight once Daddy got home. I made killer Philly chicken hoagies, and we spent our family time with a dance party and Wii games.

Here are some snaps...

The dance party started with a slow dance. Max was a natural, and my only regret is that Dave didn't get a photo of the awesomeness that is Max when he danced so tenderly and lovingly with his 9-month-pregnant mommy, who danced on her knees to even things up. I did capture the above shot of a daddy and his girl, who was dancing on his feet.

Things got wild from there....

Isn't Colby so cute with his haircut?

Daddy says Colby loves being in the boys' club, but I think Daddy is the one who loves it best.

Bedtime came soon enough, and here I am, winding down on Facebook, Blogger and getting more work done before I pitch it all for a whole different line of work: caring for a newborn.

So here's my 35.5-week photo. Hoping we only snap another one or two belly pics before we meet our final dance team member.

Tomorrow? Well, I'll employ the dance party cure a bit earlier in the day. There will be endless hours, boo-boos, yelling matches and failed nap attempts. And, tomorrow at this time, I'll be even richer in love and in life.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Still Baking

My boys love to bake! I don't think Colby has the bug as bad as Max does, but he's up for some climbing on step stools and licking brownie batter whenever the opportunities present themselves.

They are so cute. And their brother is still baking too. I'm 35 weeks plus now, dilating a bit. Even the doc seemed a little surprised by how low the baby's head is. Yep, sure is. I'm headed to the restroom every 20 or 30 minutes during the day and at least three times a night.

But I'm in good shape. Thanks to friends and family, I've lined up some crucial pieces of baby gear I was lacking. I've got the nursery in order: Colby's clothes have been forced into one dresser, the newborn and 0-3 month clothes have been tucked into the drawers of the second dresser, and the closet that has had random baby items shoved in it for.... oh, about seven years now... has been sorted into some semblance of order for the the fourth baby in a row!

So, I'm still waiting, happily enough. I'm baking my own miracle and helping my other miracles bake brownies. It's a good thing I bake cute boys, since they seem to be overtaking the house.

Happy snowy weekend to you and yours! If you get chance, bake brownies!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Balancing Act

So I'm waiting on a baby.

I'm feeling upbeat, nesting, getting a lot of things done. I'm back at work, but much refreshed. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! The days are long; I miss my naps. But I'm hanging in. I'm finishing projects, sending important emails and trying not to bust my ass on the newly waxed hallway floors. It's all good.

And I'm balancing. I'm balancing the urge to see this baby soon with letting this baby mature and gestate as long as possible. I'm trying to both spend extra one-on-one time with each of my three kids while enjoying any alone time I can find, knowing it will soon be more scarce than it already is. I'm balancing the urge to nest feverishly with the knowledge that it might just be better to relax and know that things will fall into place as needed.

I'm amazed by how peaceful I can still feel while knowing what's ahead. I'm no spring chicken mother. I know this is going to be tough, especially since big brother Colby will be only 20 months old.

I know, from experience, that I'll be rather tied to an adorable, but demanding, nursing newborn, that I'll sit on the couch nursing for hours on end looking at the mess that is my living room and wanting, craving, desperately seeking ten solitary minutes to run around the place, monkey-do-style, to clean it up. I'll yearn for my Kenmore, for a stunt double to keep the house the way I want to keep it.

I'll be up all hours of the night, so tired at times that it won't be funny at all, that I won't even be able to do it justice in a story to my sister on the cell phone on her way to work the next day. I'll be pouchy and leaky and will have numerous physical oddities occurring all over the map of my body.

I'll hate my husband. I'll resent the fact that the buck stops here, that I am the end-all, be-all. I will look at his sleeping figure during the third feeding of the night, and I'll want to kick him. I'll feel the horns growing from my forehead. And then I'll wake up the next morning and forget all about it. He'll turn back into my lifeline: the half of me that goes out of the house for normal life, the one who picks up the dark chocolate or the Teddy Grahams or the coffee creamer that helps me carry on. He'll melt my heart as I watch him melt the first time the baby smiles at him. He'll be the one who goes through the experience with me, as much as anyone can anyway.

I'll struggle through some days and soar through others. Caring for a newborn in addition to my three other children will likely be one of the hardest physical challenges I'll ever live through. And I will live through it.

I'll take the amazing, heartwarming moments motherhood will bring whenever they present themselves. I'll tuck them into the folds of my heart. I'll savor the funny things the kids say, cherish the times when four little heads lean together in affection, squirrel away the memories for the sunset of my life. I'll resolve to hold fast to the moments that take my breath away.

And it will be awesome...

So, baby, I'm waiting. I'm growing and thinking and enjoying. I'm prepared to take the balancing act that is my motherhood to the next level. Take your time in there, and know that your momma will be ready when you are.

It's going to be epic.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Do What You Love

My New Year's resolution: "Do What You Love."

I think this pretty much sums up everything. I want to spend more/most of my time with family and friends. I want to write. I want to mother. I want to make the world a better place.

Isn't it simple? Doesn't it sound lovely? Do what you love, kids. This life only comes around once. We have to take control of our own happiness, and what better way to do that than to do what I love?

Luckily, most of what I love is pretty wholesome and moral. I'm a lover and a camper and a cleaner. I am one of those lucky ones that really loves to parent. I love the written word. I love a good meal.

And so, today, I am going to savor the fact that I got to sleep in with my love, dating-style. I get to shop a bit with my momma, kid-free. And then I get to pick up my kids, wish them a happy new year and give them high-fives.

Confession: Yesterday, Shrek and I took Lily and Max to see Tangled in 3-D, and I cried, like, three times. I really, truly, thoroughly enjoyed it! Lily sat beside me in her nerdy 3-D glasses and laughed and laughed. She was absolutely riveted by the movie, and I was riveted by her. At one point, the entire theater seemed to be full of lighted, floating lanterns, and, when my seven-year-old baby girl reached out to lift one up, I cried.

And so, it's moments like these that I will seek to find. I will savor and love and nurture and cultivate; I will grow the flowers of people I want to see more of in this world.

And, as if all of this isn't enough, I will bring a final Roberts babe into the world in a matter of weeks. With hard work, luck and discipline, he'll join his siblings in the light, in being a good person when being a good person is hard to do. He'll be gorgeous and sweet, and I am so honored that I'll be his momma.

Happy 2011 to all of you. Let's walk in the sunshine together....


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