Monday, June 24, 2013

Two Old Men

Picture it with me.

Fast forward about 70 years.

Two lawn chairs perched on the front porch.

Telling stories.  Laughing.

Can you see it?!?!


Friday, June 21, 2013

The Summer List, 2013 Edition

Drew has been so sure to remind me that, even though school has been out for just over a week, it isn't summer yet.  It's still spring.  {He's so literal like that.  And, well, annoying.}  :)  So as this is the first official day of the summer season,

and we're sporting our freshly trimmed summer 'dos,

let's jump right into our Summer List!

{I really wanted the boys to help this go around, and actively give ideas for what they wanted to do this summer.  Drew threw out a few ideas, and Reed heartily agreed with what he suggested.  Much of the rest of the list are items we've done for many years, as well as some unique things to see here in Midland.}

* backyard swimming

* crafts

* bake new treats

* go on vacation

* go to Grammy & Papa's and Grandma & Grandpa's

* library's summer reading program

* baseball game (hopefully we can take in a Tigers game when they are playing the Twins, but if that doesn't work out, we have the Great Lakes Loons here in town)

* attend the Midland County Fair

* participate in local & church activities (a wide variety, some already on the calendar, others we'll find and attend on a whim)

* go on picnics

* Dow Gardens & Whiting Forest

* bike rides

* write letters & color pictures & send to distant relatives

* go to the Lego Exhibit at the Midland Center for the Arts

* scavenger hunt

* build forts

* enjoy the outdoors

* splash parks

* go to movies (specifically, Monsters University and Disney's Planes)... would also love to find either a drive-in or outdoor movie somewhere

Time got away from me a little bit, and while I really wanted to be able to be more specific with projects and ideas and fun things to do, I was also really looking for some space to relax as well as to be spontaneous.  While it has never been my goal to cross everything off the list (as evidenced by last summer!), I love using it as a springboard for days when we're bored or punchy or need something new to freshen our moods.

Here's to Summer 2013!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Last Day & the First Day

Yesterday was the last day of school (after the rest of the world has apparently already finished up... grrr).

I could go on and on and on about how awesome Drew's kindergarten year was; about all that he learned and all the friends that he made and how he proved to be an incredibly kind, sweet, and smart little man.  And I could go on and on and on about how hard it is to believe he's a first grader now.

{That's like the big leagues, man.}

And while all of that is true, I'll spare you the rant and instead say that all of us are pretty excited to see this kiddo grow.  Drew himself asked, "I wonder what the first day of first grade is going to be like?"

It's gonna be awesome, my man. 

It's been a great finale to a great year at school, and we owe so much of all of that to Drew's teacher, Mrs. Faust.

She's all that and a bag of potato chips.
The bee's knees.
The cream of the crop.
You get the picture.

We all love her, and were pretty excited about not only having a familiar face in the building next year, but the possibility that Reed could also be a part of her kindergarten classroom in another year.  But we learned yesterday that she will be moving to a different elementary school in town beginning this fall.  I'm still heartbroken over it.  This woman is incredible, y'all.  She's given Drew an incredible educational foundation to build upon.  We will miss her terribly.

But we're excited; for the year that was and the year that is to come.  But for now, we're going to celebrate summer!

One day into summer break, and we're rockin' it!  Stayed tuned...our 2013 Summer List coming soon!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Baby 411

Now that the cat's out of the bag, here's the important information that you may be curious about.

I am currently one day shy of 16 weeks (I was 12 1/2 weeks when we made the big announcement), making my due date November 25.  Brad and I got a sneak peek of our little lima bean around seven weeks, and things looked as they should.  There really isn't much to see that early (not many human-like features are developed yet) but the goal was to see and hear that little baby heartbeat.  And we did.  {I never tire of that.} 

Our technician clicked over into 3-D (which is always cool) to take a closer look at a few things (with me, not the baby) so we got a bit of a more detailed look at our little blob.

 Which is exactly what the baby looks like at this stage.  Just really really unattractive, and there isn't much baby-ish about it.  But we did see a few features as they were developing, which was pretty cool.  In the above picture, the two vertical, white lines are the bones that will fuse together to become the spine.  We also saw the nubbins of what will be arms and legs.  So cool to get a sneak peek into the creation of an actual human being. 

We decided to wait to tell anyone until past the first trimester for a couple of reasons, one of which is because we wanted the boys to be the first to know and we knew that wouldn't be able to keep their mouths shut!

And we were right.  After having my second appointment at 12 weeks, and hearing that little baby heartbeat again, we told the boys that evening.  Followed quickly by telling the grandparents the good news.  When we tucked in the boys that night, I asked them who they were going to tell first, and Drew said, "Everybody!"  He wasn't lying.  His teachers and several of his classmates knew by lunch the next day!

To be sure, waiting this long for Baby #3 wasn't exactly the plan (and yes I realize how silly that sounds...not much goes to plan when one is growing a family).  But due to circumstances both within our control and some beyond our control, it happened now instead of two years ago.  Before having any kids, I had thought that keeping our children within the two year mark of each other would be "ideal."  But I gotta say...having Drew and Reed both older than what I had previously thought I wanted, has been so incredibly cool.  For starters, they're both old enough to get it.  Drew was not quite 18 months when I was first pregnant with Reed, so the kid had no stinkin' idea what was about to happen to his world.  Now that he is six, and Reed four, they can talk and think and ask questions and share about what all of this means.  And practically speaking, it's gonna be pretty darn nice to have two older kids who are independent in so many ways when Baby arrives! 

I am certain that Reed was meant to be a big brother.  There are certain ways in which he is a leader, even over Drew, but more than that, he has always doted on babies.  When cousin Addy was a baby, oh boy, that Reed couldn't get enough of her.  He loved on her and hugged her and wanted to be near her.  I don't think he will so much mourn over losing his status as the youngest because he will be totally enamored with his newest baby sibling.  He has always showed me oodles of affection, but since learning about the baby, he gives my tummy hugs and kisses and makes it clear that "this is for the baby."  And I will often hear him whisper, "I love you, Baby" after doing so.

While Drew hasn't expressed the emotional affection that Reed has, he is very inquisitive and interested in the mechanics of it all.  By that I mean that he wants to know how big the baby is, how the baby eats (and poops), and we've even had a very mellow, and short, conversation about how the baby gets out.  Soon, I am sure, we'll have the "how'd the baby get in there?" question.  The answer: "God put the baby there!" :)  We haven't really seen Drew express much interest in oogling over babies the way that Reed has, but this past week we spent a brief amount of time with some friends of ours who have a six month old boy.  Drew sat down beside him, entertained him with his rattles, kept him safe by catching him when he tumbled over, and let the baby grab at and explore his face.  He was so patient and gentle and kind.  He will prove himself, once again, to be an awesome big brother.

I am feeling well.  After spending much of April sleeping (which was what I really wanted to say in that April post!), I am coming out of the fog.  Thankfully, my body handles pregnancy fairly well.  A little nausea but no sickness, and some food aversions (which isn't so bad).  This time around, I'm just tired.  So stinkin' tired.  I feel better now, and find myself with actual motivation and energy to perform my daily tasks (the laundry has been touch and go lately!).  I don't remember having been this tired when I was pregnant with the boys, although I have to remind myself I didn't have two children then.  And I was a bit younger!

I go back to the doctor July 2 for the "big" ultrasound.  And for those of you that know us, you know we don't find out the baby's gender.  I won't say I've never been tempted, but there is something unexplainably wonderful about hearing it proclaimed the moment the baby is born.  Both boys are hoping for another boy (of course).  {I've been trying to tell the boys that little sisters aren't all bad - just ask Uncle Jeremy and Uncle Justin. :) }  Many assume that I hope it's a girl.  And I'd be lying if I said no.  But here's where I'm currently sitting: I have all expectations that it will be a boy.  I am two for two, after all.  And if it is, it will be absolutely perfect.  And if it's a girl, it will be the surprise of a lifetime.  And it will be absolutely perfect.

Either way, I think we're gonna make a pretty incredible family of five.