Friday, April 26, 2013

Preparing the Big Brother

(Prefers Daddy's hand to Mommy's when walking and HAD to hold the water bottle on his own)

People have been asking me lately if I think Max knows/understands that he is going to be a big brother. Honestly I think he is starting to grasp it a bit more, maybe not the whole "big brother" bit but we talk about the baby everyday and point to my belly. I have made a purpose to hold babies in his presence which always concerns him first but then he moves closer and smiles at the baby. He points out babies wherever we go but  really how much can you prepare an almost two year old who hardly grasps the concept of, "You may only watch one episode of Kipper."?

Lately there have been little signs though, he is going through a bit of separation anxiety particularly around nap time and especially when visitors come. He nuzzles into the bit of space left I have and hides his face in my shoulder. I admit I love it. It reminds me how little he once was and how he use to spend his entire day resting upon my chest moving only to eat, coo and sleep. I used to be pretty stern about him going down for his naps and now I find myself swooping in to rescue him from his tears, I let him relax against me and I watch as his breathing immediately slows down until he is in a deep sleep. Perhaps I should be prepping him for more independence but the immense love I feel for him in those moments coupled with the pregnancy hormones is like a drug to me. It relaxes me too. It helps me cherish these moments I have with him and as he rests upon me I ponder on how I will really manage two kids, dividing me time and attention and making sure that each of my children feels loved.

Then there is the question of, "How could I love another child as much as this one?" I have thought about it but for some reason it doesn't worry me. From talking and observing friends who have more than one child it clearly is not an issue. Plus I already feel a whole lot of love for this baby within me and I know my love for Max can't diminish. From what I hear, your heart just grows. I have faith in those words.

On the flip side of those few moments of separation anxiety, Max is really starting to gain independence on his own terms. He enjoys exploring, playing by himself and wandering away from me even after instructions to stop. It is fascinating to watch him explore everything around him from bugs to books. He loves walking on his own and is starting to understand when he has to hold my hand (i.e. crossing the street, parking lots, etc.) The world of a toddler is a fascinating one, both for me and him.

So I guess all this is to say that we are getting ready for this new baby. It is still a few months off but I remember how quickly those months pass and before I know it there will be a new bundle in my arms. A new bundle to love and cuddle and take care of. Not with the same one-on-one attention that Max received but this baby gets the bonus of a big brother, and this baby's big brother is awesome.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Love.

My main man turns 26 today. He is not one for big parties or lots of presents. Just a simple night at home planned eating his birthday ribs and making peanut butter play-dough. I have made this boys BBQ ribs for his birthday ever since we first started dating and it's a fun tradition to keep up. It reminds me of when we first fell and love. He has continued to charm me and sweep me off my feet again and again and we just keep falling in love. I feel so incredibly blessed to have found him and I feel even more blessed that I have the opportunity to spend forever with him. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Embracing Adventure

About a month ago we went on our first hike of the season. We chose a hike 30 minutes out that as promised as child-friendly. Child-friendly hikes are basically pretty flat and boring hikes, at least when the ground is still thawing and muddy from the seasons changing. We finished the hike quickly and decided that we would venture a little further. Looking at the cropped map in our borrowed library book it seemed as if we could follow the road the cars took to another hike that seemed a little more interesting. We guessed it would take another 30 minutes to get there. We set off an hour and a half later we realized we are wrongly guessed where the road was taking us. We looked at a larger picture of the map and realized we would need to walk about four more miles until we reached that other hiking spot, never mind that our car was still at the original starting point. Oh, also it was 4:30pm before daylight savings occurred so the sun was already setting. We made a plan and decided to cut across where there was no path. There was a creek/river/body of water that we hoped was dry enough at a point to walk across.

We could of panicked and yelled at each other, but instead we looked at each other and decided going off the beaten path would probably be more exciting anyways. I mean the general area we were in was not that large, and we new roughly where our car was. We still had plenty of food and water so off we trekked. The marshy water was still partly frozen at party and we got increasingly nervous that we might just have to get wet.

It all ended up being fine.

Miraculously and totally unplanned we ran into our original hike. It was easy to make it back to the car from there and this all occurred before the sun went down. We sat in the car and breathed a small sigh of relief and grinned from ear to ear. What started as a pretty boring hike turned into an all out adventure and usually I tend to freak out at unplanned adventures. They make me nervous and I try to avoid them and if they happen and I am not ready, I usually find someone to blame other than myself. But I didn't. I think I was given the strength to stay calm and just enjoy the scenery. It wasn't a dire situation so no need to make it one.

All of this is to say that next year will be one grand adventure. Kyle will have three ten week internships over the course of the year, which means that we will be moving every ten weeks to a new location with a toddler and an infant. At first it made my head hurt. A lot. The more I thought about it and tried to plan it, the more I could feel my anxiety rising. I prayed about it and received the inspiration to, "Embrace the Adventure."

Next year will be an adventure and I can choose to plan and have anxiety over it all, or I can relish in unknown adventure ahead of me. I am sure it will be full of moments where I want to pull my hair out and scream at the top of my lungs but I will choose to let it stretch me and strengthen my character so that I can learn to live life with grace (divine help), humor, and no fear of the unknown.