Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One year and one baby later...

Wow, I haven't posted in over a year! Mostly because I do almost everything on the iPhone now and the process of writing a blog out on it seems so tedious. But I felt I need to get back into the swing of things, so here goes...

As most of you are aware, baby #4 is on his way - oh yes, and it's another boy. We are thrilled, thrilled, thrilled about all this. I'm actually looking forward to the labor, which is crazy because I've always dreaded that part horribly. Seriously, it was a real struggle to not let fear overtake me with my 2nd and 3rd labors because I was so dreading it. One thing that my have helped was how well Michael's labor went. It was so wonderful and if he hadn't been posterior and we didn't have those 2+ hours of, "Don't push." "I CAN'T!!", it would have been perfect.

So, I'm in my third trimester, preparing for baby and preparing the children for the changes (especially Michael). Schooling is good, but I feel like I need to begin including a few more subjects on a daily basis. This means longer school hours, but that's part of the sacrifices made when I decided to be their teacher. The girls love their school work and Katrina is very conscientious about completing an assignment before feeling the freedom to go play. Both girls struggle with taking a long time to complete their work. Katrina because she is constantly distracted and Shiona because she is terribly meticulous! Its incredibly rewarding seeing the progress and their love for certain subjects grow. Reading is a challenge for Katrina, but she is definitely improving. If I spent more one on one time with Shiona she probably could be reading because she has a natural understanding of the sounds. But, I never like to put undo pressure on myself or the kids. I take things in stride and tackle one thing at a time or I'll get overwhelmed and be no good to anybody. I am not one of those amazing mothers whose kids read by the age 4, speak several languages, play musical instruments at 3, keep a husband and 10 kids happy and feed in a well organized home. I struggle to get meals ready on time and kids to bed at decent hours on a daily basis. It's humbling, but knowing my limitations and faults rather than denying them helps me improve.

Seth has been taking the last while off work. It's so nice having him around a lot. He's always incredibly helpful and just his presense makes the day go better. He stays busy with projects around the house, small jobs here and there and helping friends and family out when they need his expertise and manpower. He'll even school the girls for me from time to time. It's great because I've felt like I need so much sleep during this pregnancy and he's able to watch the kids and give me a nap when I need one.

Katrina is such a big girl now. Very helpful and a wonderful big sister, but a little bossy and somewhat of a know-it-all at times. She has always been a high-demand child ever since she was a baby. She needs lots of encouragement, discipline, love and understanding. She can't be treated like the books say (Chrisian or non) or we quickly loose her heart. It requires a very patient, loving and firm hand to raise her and a constant communion with the Lord seeking His wisdom. Seth has very good insight and understanding with how to deal with her and I'm also going to him often to get his counsel on how to handle certain issues. She is very bright and spunky and is always the first to notice a need and try to meet it. Such a blessing and we love her so much.

Shiona is definitely becoming a great big sister too. She doesn't naturally initiate games with Michael or feel the responsibilities of looking out for him like Katrina has, but those qualities are definitely developing. Although she is generally easy going and doesn't make waves, it's sometimes a challenge to get through to her. Although she has surprised both Seth and me with how quick her intellect is, she just doesn't pay attention if she doesn't want to. If I'm trying to really convey the seriousness of something wrong she has done, it's difficult to read if it's actually making an impression or if she is just saying "yes ma'am" because she knows she needs to. The only way I know is by observing her actions afterwards, and in that respect she has shown improvement. I feel like she can sometimes get lost between Katrina needing so much attention and Michael being the baby and getting more too. We try to make special efforts to single her out and give her the attention she needs, but we have to be deliberate often. Just because she doesn't demand it doesn't mean she doesn't need it.

Michael is going through my absolute favorite stage (between 18 and 30 months). Everything is so exciting and new for the child and I find them terribly adorable in everything they do. I could squeeze and kiss them all day long. He recently had a vocabulary growth spurt and is just talking up a storm now. He is pretty good at annunciating, but there are times I have no clue what he is asking for or talking about. Usually someone can help me decipher what he is saying or I'll ask him to show me and he does. He is all boy in his interests - cars and large vehicles like tractors, dinosaurs, digging in the mud, collecting rocks and throwing them and playing outside as much as possible. He adores his Daddy still, but he went through a very rough, clingy stage when I was weaning him and then he got sick. It was pretty pathetic. But he is back to his normal, cheerful self and wants to go to work with daddy and help him with projects all the time. He is so proud just holding a tool and watching Seth work. :)

I'm in my last trimester and just focusing on staying healthy and getting everything ready. Pregnancy takes quite a toll on my body, especially as I tend to have large babies and I'm pretty small. Learning from each previous pregnancy has really helped me be aware of how my body responds to different methods. Being pregnant is fun, but I'm not going to be sad when it's over! I'm enjoying the Spring coming and it always makes me itch to do some gardening. I really don't do much at all, but I love to try.

I could go on and on, but I need to get the day going. So, there is an overview of how we are doing and what is going on with us these days. Maybe I'll be a little more on top of my updates from now on, but we'll see. :)

And now Michael...

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