Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Watching them Grow

Well, we are approaching week two of Manda's life and time does indeed fly. I will say, so far I am in agreement with the statement, "the transition from three to two is easier than one to two." I am not sure why, maybe it's because, once you pass one child, chaos just insues, but it has been easier than I imagined. Granted, we haven't done any huge trips yet or ventured to the grocery store alone, but we do get out and manage to get where we are going in a relatively timely manner. Heck, the family even braved Chuck E. Cheese for a birthday...I consider that a feat.
The boys are adjusting relatively well. Adding a new child is definintely bringing their personalities to light. I am finding Gav to be an extravert and struggling with staying at home more and less "people time." He talks even more than he used to (if that's possible) and if people come, he is usually right there vying for some interaction. He is constantly coming up with ideas where to go and what to do and if we are at home, he pesters Brayden to play with him, usually trying to convince him to do what he wants to do.
OUr new punishment when Gavin acts out for attention is time in his room...trying to teach him the fine art of playing alone. He does not like it and you will regularly hear him yell out, "Am I done, cuz I've been in here a long long time." Three minutes constitutes a long long time for this little guy and we are working on expanding that. He's getting better.
Brayden is proving to be a home body who has actually fared well not leaving the house too much. We are finding he is good at imagination and playing by himself. He loves to dress up, is constantly having his "men" talk to each other and you hear noises from all sorts of transportation items come from his mouth. It is really quite fascinating the difference between the two. Brayden often wants to do his own thing and resents Gavin butting in. Sometimes, miracle of all miracles, they play super well together and it is quite fun to watch their little minds and how they work.
Amanda's a trooper. She is on a pretty fixed three hour schedule and sometimes goes longer at night. She would sleep her day away if we let her, so the boys and I work on talking to her on the ground or giving her baths during the day, to get a little awake time in. She really does seem to love her brothers voices and usually will stop fussing to watch them. I just watch her carefully, knowing, unless God has other plans, this is our last. There is a part of me that grieves each day she gets bigger. I want to savor the baby stage, knowing we won't return again. It is a sweet time.
Dad went back to school pretty early on and is trying to catch up on the beginning of the year stuff. It's hard, but from what I hear, it sounds like he's doing a good job. I know he's doing his best to get home and be a good dad and has started a ritual of climbing onto the top bunk with the boys to read books at night. They love it and it's their time together. I love it means the day is winding down!
All in all, life is good and I am thankful for my sweet children and the joy of watching them grow into the people God made them to be. It's a fun season and I am trying to soak it all in before time flies away.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Amanda Kathleen Ryan

Well, she's here! Last Friday I was induced. They broke my water and three hours later, out she came...little Manda. 7lbs 12 ounces and 20.5 inches long, born at 11:03 am on Sept. 10th. We love her to pieces.
I will say it was a bittersweet day. Two hours after Amanda arrived, we received a phone call that Shawn's Grandpa (who we love and adore) was in the emergency room across the hospital with serious bowel twisting issues and doctors conferencing to see if surgery was even an option, due to his frail health. He underwent a minor surgery that day, but also had two mini heart attacks and things were not looking good. He pulled through though and a week later is on his way home to a more elaborate care system, but at least no hospital.
Amanda has blended into the family well. The boys love her and Gavin is especially attentive to her every cry. She's doing great at night and already sleeping in four hour chunks (PRAISE THE LORD). We hope to keep this up, but I am not holding my breathe. Just about the time you count on a baby for any consistency, they tend to change it up on you (:
Life seems to be a marathon right now. Gavin started preschool and soccer and MOPS, which I volunteered to help with started. Also, Wednesday nights at church starts up next week, where I lead a small group of girls and, after taking two days off, Shawn is back at work trying to figure out life as a principal and make sure to get home in time to spend QT with the kiddos.
In the midst of it all I am trying to figure out how to juggle caring for my husband, the kids, my house and a newborn. I am finding it especially hard, seeing as we plan on this being our last baby. I don't want to miss a moment and I want the time to cuddle and play with her like a firstborn, but it just is not to be. I have two little men who are far more aware and in need of attention right now and one big man who is working like crazy to care for his family, who needs my support.
All of this has helped me to appreciate the nightime feedings more. It's our time together, just me and my baby. I will admit to watching TV quite a bit, but I also use it to pray over her and soak in her tininess, that is already changing so much!
It's a new season, one I will admit to being apprehensive about, but also excited for. We have our complete family (unless God has a surprise out there...), a family of five. Crazy, scary, exciting and oh so blessed!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Coming this Friday?

So, as of my Dr. Appointment yesterday, we are scheduled to get induced on week early. It was the same scenario with Brayden and I heard the Dr. udder the same words,
"I'll be surprised if you make it until then."
This did not sit super well, seeing as Shawn's first day of school (as a principal) was the next day and to put it mildly, this would be the poorest timing EVER! Last time the Dr. said that, I had Brayden the next night!
Off I went and about an hour later, the contractions started. I had them all day. I finally laid down during naptime and that helped. I also tried to sit down as much as possible, willing them to go away. Shawn had also gotten in the car that morning and found it barely started and the check engine light on so we were having to schedule a trip to the mechanic that night. Oh anddid i mention we just paid an obscene amount to fix the van and had a huge crack appear in the van windshield, which we needed to schedule a replacement for? He did not need this.
I am sure God was rolling his eyes a bit as I began to reverse my utterings from, "Get this baby out" to "Please God, give her one more day in there!". I just want my husband to avoid mental breakdown...the poor guy has been such a trooper with all life has thrown at him lately.
Anyway...I decided it's a good thing I'm not God, cuz if I had to listen to all my whining about things, I would have probably taken a little delight in causing the baby to come today. However, our God is far more gracious than I. I woke up this morning with very few contractions and Shawn got all dressed up for the first day and off he went.
I have been reminded constantly of the verse, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you." It is a verse quoted frequently in Christian circles, because it is often an encouragement. In this instance I was made aware of how selfishly I use it. I consider it a verse for ME. But in reality, it is a verse for all God's children. God has plans not just for me, but for my little girl and my husband too...plans that are good for them and to keep them from harm's way. Those are plans I need to take into account, be grateful for, and recognize that they may be more important than the plans I have.
Today I am thankful for a God who is so gracious and cares for those I love so much better than I ever could. I am still excited to meet my little girl. I still am ready to not be pregnant. And as far as I can see, Friday would be great...if it's in God's plans.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Turning Four

Tomorrow Gavin turns four. We held his birthday party at a park in Country Village that offers train rides. We had a small handful of his friends and their families show up. The kids got to ride the train, make a craft and then we had lunch and cake. It was quick and fun and required little clean-up...PERFECT!
It has been slightly confusing for Gavin. We have been talking about turning four for so long, but due to the fact that we had a baby coming and we weren't sure about the weather (the train rides aren't offered on rainy days) we didn't really tell him about his party or build it up at all, in case we had to cancel. (I can imagine nothing worse than saying...sorry dude, no party, no train, maybe next year.) One day he woke up and we were like, "Hey, today you're having a party!". It was still very fun for him, but I am sad about him missing out on the build-up to the big day.
After his party he and his brother passed out in the car. We went to wake him up and the first thing he said, as he wipes his sleepy eyes is, "Am I going to school now?" Not quite yet kiddo.
Tomorrow is the actual day and I am trying to explain that to him too. I should just let it go, but I want to celebrate and I know the kids won't be disappointed with a cupcake or two. Plus we haven't given him his presents yet.
He keeps informing me he is "bigger" and doesn't need my help as much. It is good to see him becoming more independent, as he has always been my one who doesn't like to struggle through things, but breaks down in frustration. Suddenly, at four, he has a new tenacity. It is sweet to see his spirit grow, helpful to have him figure things out, frustrating to see him insist on trying things that are well beyond his big four years, and heartbreaking to watch my firstborn grow up.
I am a mixture of emotions watching my child and I am thankful for the insight into God's eyes as to the complications of a parents love. I want to cheer him on, discipline him, push him forward and hold him back all at the same time. I can't imagine how God goes through this on a global level, so intensely for all of his children. My heart is overwhelmed by just a few.
Still, my heart is fuller with each day and each year that passes. I think I am going to like four...I also know that five will come way too soon!