Friday, October 28, 2011

Home stretch...

Yes, I had every intention of catching up on blog posts once and for all. Then my third trimester hit. Hard. Yep, "hard" has kind of been the theme of this pregnancy. I honestly amaze myself by surviving stressful/exhausting/exasperating episodes most days, both on my body and nerves. Certainly I could not be surviving without help of both seen and unseen sources.

To complicate matters, with six weeks to go, I am now officially nesting! This is good. This means the end is than it has been. However, in my B.C. years (before Charlie), I actually had the physical and emotional energy to accomplish the tasks on my nesting list.

This time around, it's a longer list than ever, not to mention my daily responsibilities are greater and more hectic than ever. And yet, it remains rather draining to tackle a single item on my list. No, it should not be asking too much for me to organize a closet and wash the dishes all in one day. And it is. My anemia, that was for several weeks quite debilitating, is more or less under control, for which I am quite thankful, because "bed rest" is not in the least restful if children are carving paths of destruction all around me. I just feel like I have so little left to give after simply keeping my children alive and delivered to school and activities sort-of on time.

This all contributes to a surmounting anticipation for this little one (who we call Amelia) to arrive. True, I would love to have my bedroom finally decorated and stacks of important paperwork organized and filed away before her arrival usurps these and many other projects in priority. Still, I can't say I wouldn't welcome her any old day she might choose to come.

This blog post has inadvertently become an exception, but I do try in general not to complain excessively about pregnancy. It is a tremendous blessing. I also realize that the discomforts and burdens I feel will only translate into a greater fondness for and commitment to this little babe for whom I have already sacrificed much.

We are all so very excited for her grand debut. Ellie is baby-crazy as ever, Erik always hugs her goodbye before preschool and even asked for Amelia for Christmas, and Kyle confesses he feels greater happy anticipation for a baby than he's ever felt before. Of course, no one can hold stronger feelings for her than me. She is never absent from my consciousness and sentiments for an instant. A life that is literally shared with mine cannot be separated from my deepest emotions.

We all love you, sweet baby girl. Come soon, Amelia dear. Not too very soon, but just soon enough.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Disneyland Dec. 2009

Guess what? We went to Disneyland two years ago (Christmas 2009)! "We" meaning Joestie, Bob, Bryce, Mish, and we Larsens. The 'rents couldn't come, but they funded the trip--thanks Ma and Pa!

Those lines were long, let me tell you. We managed to squeeze out some smiles early in the a.m.

What did I tell you about the crowds? Brutal, yes. I can't remember if it was worth it, but I do recall that at the end of the day of holding kids, fighting crowds, and waiting in lines, my body ached in ways that I never knew possible and my feet throbbed the way feet were never meant to throb.

But it was still pretty magical.

And then we did it again the next day, this time with Bob and Bryce.

This is how Christie felt when they made her take three-month-old Alex out of the baby wrap and place him next to her on the seat for the ride (as if he sits), in the name of safety.

We've all done Disneyland before, but it was something else to be there with almost all of my beloved sibs.

Okay, this was definitely the scariest ride in the land. Yes, it's a ferris wheel, but the it's a little off its rocker. The babies were okay, but Joe, Mish, and I were a little bit freaking out and a lot concerned that we might all die, but we tried to hold it together for the older kids' sake.

Yay! We conquered that nightmare without dying!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

On Charlie at age two

***A couple months ago I wrote this draft in honor of Char's birthday, though even then it was quite belated. I would edit it before publishing if only that kiddo didn't wear me out so solid that I have nothing left in my brain at this hour. ***

A little while back, Charlie was promoted to age two. On June 3rd, for the record. You may presume that I was frightened for this child to embark on the "terrible twos" and to claim all this year entails. Truly, though, I've known for a while that it's looking nothing but up with this child.

If ever I find myself exasperated with the terribleness of his twos (and indeed I do, almost daily), I need only recall where he once was-- how far we have come.

And while every parent hopes for a child that is naturally well-mannered, obedient, and calm, I know it's the child who tries the patience and stretches the bounds of sanity that best promotes growth. Truly, I see that I have needed this boy for my own character development every bit as much as he's needed me.

(For instance, I don't judge other parents for not being able to control their children anymore.)

Yes, while he naps, the rest of us experience quiet relief and relaxation that is never possible in Charlie's presence. But we are still excited to hear his sounds of waking-- to watch him speed-waddle to the kitchen, clutching multiple nuks and emphatically demanding, "eat! eggs!" or something of the sort.

And though cleaning up after his potty time is truly more work than simply changing diapers, how proud we are of how immediately he took to using his own little potty-- the effort and maturity that his chart of scattered reward stickers signifies.

You wouldn't guess now that he was previously the quintessentially clingy mama's boy. This kid has developed a degree of independence that has left precious little time in his busy schedule for snuggling and the sort. (That's where the new baby will come in, right?)

Still, he's generous with hugs and kisses. And twice a day he counts on being cradled into my arms-- nuk, blanky, book, sippy, and stuffy in tow-- and gently hums along with my bedtime serenade, nuzzling his very warm (and often damp) little head on my heart, there to stay.