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October

October is going awfully quickly. I feel like it should be the 8th or 9th. No, actually it’s the 21st. What?!

We are finding our rhythm. Stephen’s mom has gone back home, Myka is back in school, and I’m back to making school lunches and going to toddler activities. And we are all doing well.  Myka hasn’t missed her bus, and I haven’t forgotten to make her a lunch.  Emery went to art class and play time this week! That might be a first. Poppy went 3 1/2 hours between meals last night and usually takes a longer mid-day nap of 3 hours or so. She still mostly sleeps, and that allows me a nap here and there, and those naps keep me sane (most of the time). She is very pleasant, but when she is unhappy, wow, does she let us know. We think she might be the loudest of our babies.

Poppy is my first baby with any hair. It’s so soft. I have no idea how to comb it, if I comb it. Mostly it just fluffs up to her typical hedgehog style. I love it. However, this long hair has one major problem. She grabs it. She gets her little hand tightly holding her hair right down at the scalp, and opening an infants clenched fist is nearly impossible! She wails because someone is yanking on her hair. Maybe we should put a hat on her. No, it’s too hot for a hat.

Yes, it’s still hot here.  My weather app tells me that right now it is 97F with widespread dust. That sounds lovely. Who wants to visit?!! We haven’t had any rain yet. Last year it was cooler and had rained a few times by now. We are still enjoying going to the pool! And the pool has chillers on right now making the water cooler. We have started to visit the playground again. It was too hot even first thing in the morning until a couple weeks ago. We met a few friends there this morning. Poppy laid on her blanket in the shade while the older kids played. I think she got a little hot by the time we got home, though, and she has a heat rash that comes and goes. Poor thing.

Poppy’s paperwork for her passport has been processed, and I have submitted my application for passport renewal, but they don’t like our pictures. First, they said there was a shadow on Poppy’s photo. So we had a friend who is a photographer photo-shop out the shadow. This time they said they are the wrong size or proportions. Our faces weren’t big enough. We did use an online program to adjust our face size and we’ve used this process for our passports in the past! Stephen decided we should give birth in the states next time. We went to a photo shop in Jubail and got two very unattractive pictures of Poppy and me. It makes me feel vain, but I may have to go and try again. Otherwise my passport photo will make me angry every time we travel for the next ten years.

 

Update! You may have noticed that I say it is the 21st in my post and it is actually posted to the blog on the 31st. That would be because it has taken me ten days to get the photos added on here. Yikes! So I’d like to add that we had a very fun Halloween today. Myka loves dressing up. Emery will wear his airplane wings (see photo below) for about one minute before he wants them off. But they are awfully cute! I’ll have to update this post again with a couple photos of Myka in her fairy princess costume.

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One month old

Our dear Poppy is one month old today!

She is 4 1/2 kg or almost 10 pounds. I’m not sure how tall she is now, but she doesn’t fit in my arm the same way she did when she was born. I can tell she is longer, but she still fits into her newborn sized clothing perfectly. We love snuggling with her and do so as much as we can. As you can tell from the pictures below, most of the time she is sleeping. We are ok with that for now.

Grandma Bonnie is visiting right now which means more fun for everyone! The kids get to play with Grandma, Grandma gets to hold the new grand-baby, and I get an extra nap. Yes!!

 

 

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Myka and Emery

Myka is a sweet, doting, slightly smothering, older sister.  Sometimes the hugs are a little too close and long, and sometimes the kisses are on the plentiful side, but I love it.  She is gentle. She loves her baby sister.  And because Myka is away at school all day during the week I appreciate that when she is around she wants to hold and take care of Poppy.

Emery shows his love in different ways. He often shares his blanket and stuffed animals with her which is especially adorable because these are usually His Things. He covers his ears when she cries and doesn’t like when she is ‘loud.’ Not that the boy is quiet; he is the loudest of the three by far. He misses his momma sometimes, so I am making sure to spend some one-on-one time with him.  Today, we made Cookie Balls (actually called Energy Bites, but kids like cookies so..). He is a good helper.

Poppy is doing well. She is a week old today! We are still taking it easy. Stephen has started going to work in the afternoons, and I’m working my way toward being up in time to get Myka ready for school. I am so glad we have the flexibility to make this a gradual process. I’ve only been a mother of three for a week, but so far it’s been wonderful!

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Poppy Elizabeth

Poppy Elizabeth Sands was born on Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 3:47am. She weighed 7 1/2 lbs and was 19 inches long.

We did make it to the hospital (I was worried about the hour drive), but we didn’t have much time to spare! We left the house at 1:30, got to the hospital around 2:30, I was in the assessment room (where they make sure you’re really in labor and decide to let you stay) at 3:00, and she was born before 4:00. Myka and Emery came to meet Poppy on Monday evening, and we came home on Tuesday. The last couple days have been filled with cuddles mostly, but also two trips back to the hospital for our follow up appointments.  I am looking forward to not making that trip quite so often!

Everyone is doing well. I think Stephen might be the most tired, poor guy. He is doing an amazing job keeping up with things around here. Packing Myka’s lunch for school, getting her on the bus, cleaning up, cooking, holding Poppy so I can rest… I am so glad he is around! I am also very grateful for friends who have stepped in and helped in so many ways. Having a supportive community not only makes life easier but makes it more fun too.

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I’m having a baby

Not today (calm down, mom) but soon! Due date is in two weeks. I’ve never cared much about the specific date.  It’s just an estimate anyway, but it does mean that sometime in the next month we will have a baby.

 

We will have three children instead of two.

A good night of sleep will be even harder to get.

I won’t have this big, firm, basketball belly anymore.

My schedule will be completely different.

Life will be different.

We will have a new baby!

We will get to hold her!

Myka and Emery will get to meet their little sister!

 

I’m still wrapping my head around the whole idea.  Is that crazy?

And I still haven’t had my hospital tour which isn’t helping me prepare for what is ahead. The tour is only given once a week, and it is on a day when Stephen cannot leave work. I could have taken a taxi at some point, but I don’t want to spend the money just for a hospital tour. We were away for about six weeks, so that didn’t help. But knowing what to expect when we go in will help me be more comfortable in the midst of all the unpredictable moments of having a baby.  I’m hoping that this week I can work something out.

Honestly, I’m just hoping to get to the hospital without too much trouble. The drive is over an hour. Hopefully we miss heavy traffic times. The fifteen minute drives to the hospital with Myka and Emery were uncomfortable.  Over an hour?? I’m not looking forward to it.  The plan is to go at the first sign of labor so that I’m not too uncomfortable. Usually I would stay at home for as long as possible, but I don’t really want to have a baby on the side of the highway in the middle of the desert.  Another fun thing: the day before my due date is Saudi National Day. Crazy drivers, people everywhere, fireworks… Maybe we get a prize if we have the first baby of Saudi National Day?! That would be memorable.

To commemorate being in the final weeks of this pregnancy I thought I’d put together the various belly pictures I have:

May

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June

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July

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August

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September

 

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Painting

We had a painting day today! Everyone except stephen did some art work, and he made lunch so we will let that be his creative contribution.

 

I didn’t paint these today, but have I shown you the signs I made for under our clocks in the living room? We have three clocks with three different timezones:

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Today I painted something for the baby’s room.  The colors seem a little off on my computer, but the background is gray not brownish. It matches the gray blanket I am knitting for her.

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And these are Emery and Myka’s masterpieces!  The paper is about 1×2.5′ so they are pretty big.  Myka’s is “the earth” (the one on the right) and no one (not even Emery) knows what his is. They had a lovely time painting.  We no longer have any red or blue paint. And I had a nice time wiping up the floor when they were done. We moved the coffee table and rolled up the rug to make space on the floor to paint.  Tile cleans up well.

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This is Stephen’s two day weekend. Usually we all go swimming in the morning, but I needed to wash Myka and Emery’s swimming suits.  We will go tomorrow.  It is good to do something different now and then! I did find myself wishing we could drive to a park and fly a kite or something, but it’s still way too hot for that.  I’m still waiting for the first time the ten day forecast has a number below 100F.  Until then, we will stick to the pool and the air conditioning! And we still find lots of fun things to do.

 

 


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Thankful

Thank God and thank Stephen!

When Myka has a cut or scrape we talk about how God heals us and made our bodies so wonderfully. Our skin and blood work to make new skin where we have a cut, and before we know it our knees and fingers are back to normal. I am so thankful for how our bodies are able to heal, and I’m also thankful that someone learned how to make Tylenol.

A week or two ago I was sick.  I don’t often get sick, but this knocked me out.  Some kind of flu like bug but without the stomach issues, I had a terrible headache, fever, chills…yuck. I was basically in bed for a solid 48 hours, taking Tylenol (which is your only option when you’re pregnant) around the clock, and then took at least two days to recover after that. Stephen stayed home for two days, and he was so wonderful.  Took care of the kids, brought me food, made me tea – he was a very sweet and patient caretaker. I don’t know what I would have done those two days if he had not taken off work.

I was thinking recently that I hear a lot of accolades for stay-at-home moms. We have a lot on our plate, have a million different jobs to do each day, and often do it all with a lack of sleep thrown in just for fun.  There are good reasons for applauding moms. But those go-to-work dads are pretty awesome too. They go to work day after day, consistently providing for their families, and then can be found helping around the house when they aren’t at work. Now, I know there are all sorts of ways to look at this situation; there is an endless variety of ways parents work together and provide for their family.  My point is that I’m grateful for my situation, my husband, and the effort he puts into our life and our family.

So, thank you, Stephen, for all you do!  We love you.

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