Thursday, September 26, 2013

Welcome! Welcome!

After a much anticipated arrival, baby Gray is a BOY!  
Henry John (named for both of his grandfathers) arrived on Sunday afternoon, September 22nd, 2013.  He weighed in at 7lbs 12oz and was 19 1/2 inches long.  
It all started with a fairly bumpy hay ride at a local corn maze on Saturday the 21st.  Contractions started up again later that night and they finally crossed the threshold of being hospital-worthy.  The only advantage to having weeks of contractions was that I was ready for them when it was actually "go time".  The experience of labor was completely different than Julia's or Charlie's and with the help of Charles and my mom, I had an amazing and life-altering unmedicated birth experience (Disclaimer: the end product was absolute perfection, but I wouldn't want to relive those final moments of labor again!)  Since his arrived, he is the source of peace in a crazy home.  We've added a 7lb tiny being to our world, but somehow it has shifted the dynamic enough to feel pretty overwhelming.  This part will take some time, I'm sure.  I told Henry that he's probably not going to experience a quiet home until he is an only child again in 16 years - when Charlie goes off to college.  In the midst of post-partum recovery, I am learning to sit back and take in the noise and recognize that life will always be loud.  Life will be filled with 3 little loves who will grow together and always have eachother no matter what.  And this is just the beginning...
And we're home!
No, there are no other children on the horizon, the fourth little pumpkin is for Scout.  
Our family is complete.  We are feeling so blessed and giving thanks for this precious gift.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


In middle school I had dreams of becoming a basketball star.  Those dreams were dashed one day during my freshman year in high school when my team played a school that was completely out of our league.  As we were warming up, I realized that there must be something in the water in that town- these girls had hit their growth spurts and towered over most of our team.  They were big and fierce and they were still just warming up on their own side of the court.  I can remember praying that I would't play in that game and that I would survive to live another humble, freshman, JV day.  Well, I don't remember much from that game.  I do know that we lost that game by a large margin and my basketball days were numbered.  I decided shortly after that experience that it may be in my best interest to move on to other activities.  
I was thinking about that game recently when I was talking to a friend on the phone and telling her that I feel sidelined during the final trimester of this pregnancy.  Due to some issues that indicated a risk of preterm labor, travel was out of the question and I had to rethink many of the activities that I tackle without thought on a daily basis.  When we first found out we were pregnant with our third child, there was a small fear that our friends with 2 children were off and running.  Well established in their routine and able to travel on a whim without bags and gear, we realized that we were going back to the trenches again - sidelined for a while as we readjust family life.  As I said "no" to countless opportunities and (more importantly), traveling home to PA to visit family and friends, I was feeling overwhelmed by what I felt I was missing out on.  This was reframed as I was reading a book to prepare for childbirth (ha, prepping for childbirth..we shall see about that one).  One of the chapters expands on the experience of "nesting" by explaining that this is a time of preparation - a time of innate emotional and physical energy that focuses on preparing a space for our transforming family. How appropriate that this comes at a time when we're fresh from the move.  There is so much to do!  As I think about my statement of feeling sidelined, I realize that sometimes this can be very freeing.  Sometimes you're praying that someone will just take you out either to take a break or on a larger scale, to realize that this game is to big for you to be playing.  Sitting it out provides a wonderful opportunity to focus on the details that matter, regroup, and realize how to change your gameplan.  My gameplan involved less travel and more time to unpack.  It involved time on the couch watching movies with the kids and making up games in the backyard rather than running around from activity to activity.  When I was feeling guilty, I realized that this time is so sacred.  It will never be like this again.  As we countdown in days the arrival of Baby Gray, I am reminded of how temporary this is.  I will get back in the game.  There will be days of endless activity again.  Patience is not a virtue of a 9-month pregnant woman, but I truly am thankful for the opportunities of the past few months.  It has been different and humbling, but it will all be shaken up very soon.  I will jump back into a whole new game.  Are we ever really prepared?  No, but I must say that without a mandatory sideline break, it's hard to gain perspective of how far you've come.  
Here are some of our quieter moments over the past month:
Loads of fun in the backyard treefort.
Our last weekend away-Maine in July
Endless hours spent in the pool.  
Julia is quite the fish and is just about swimming on her own!
Charlie would prefer to play golf...
Hanging out with Papa during a visit
 Getting creative (and naked 99% of the time) in the backyard
Smoothie mornings
 Reupholstering 10 chairs!
 Celebrating the little things - like organized spaces
And wearing ourselves out!
And now for more sideline action, we wait for little one to arrive this month...
life is about to get interesting!