wherever you go


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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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School

It’s Myka’s first day of school today! She hopped right on the bus while holding a friend’s hand (so cute), and a friend of mine who works at the school said she settled into her class well.  I am so thankful for friends who check on my little girl on her first day of school!  What surprised me the most was how in-the-dark I feel about what’s going on for Myka right now.  Why didn’t I realize it would be like this? Of course I wouldn’t know what is going on: she’s at school and I’m here at home.  But I just didn’t think about how clueless I would feel.  And it’s not like I can text her teacher and ask, “Hey, how’s Myka? Everything going well?” which is what I could do if she was at a friends or with a babysitter.

Emery’s surprise today was a set of trains and tracks from Ikea.  He loves it.  He has played with those trains for hours today.  We did stop playing with trains to go to the playground.  That was a poor decision on my part; it is still too hot for that. We should have gone to the pool, and we’ll go swimming tomorrow. As we get to the playground, and Emery goes running off, he says to himself, “Where’s Myka? Oh, school.”  It was so sweet that he thought of her.  I love that.

Now I’m in the middle of my first quiet afternoon of the school year.  Emery is napping, Myka is at school, and I get to decide what I want to do.  I made some banana muffins already.  Now I think I’ll pick something to watch on tv and work on the baby blanket I’m knitting.

I only have a few weeks of this type of leisure time!  Ha!  I’m going to soak it up.

 

 

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Home and Away

When I get back home in Saudi Arabia there are things I miss:

Driving off to the store basically whenever I want

Grandparents available and quite willing to watch their grandchildren

Cooler weather

Wearing jeans

A crazy selection of everything at stores. (I especially like picking out whatever kind of juice that I happen to want. I know…weird.)

 

But there are things I miss when I’m not here:

Being together as a family

My own space with my very own things

Our friends here

Our regular routine (not that we have found it again yet!)

A swimming pool just a walk away

Even our cats, though not the cat hair..

 

Our big event since we have been back: Emery has switched to a toddler bed from his crib. I’m thankful for the two and a half years he stayed put in our crib, but during this last trip he perfected the art of climbing out of a pack-n-play. The plan was to wait until we got over the jet lag to switch to the toddler bed, but he was climbing out of the crib a lot. I didn’t want him falling all that way onto a ceramic tile floor (OUCH), so our first full day back he moved into the toddler bed.

Nap times are great. No issues. He just stays there and goes to sleep. Night time is Awful. He doesn’t stay in bed, he climbs in his sisters bed (they share a room), he visits the playroom and brings noisy toys into their room, he is waking his sister up, they both visit me in the middle of the night… It’s been four nights. The first night the time change kept them up until the middle of the night. The second night we improved to a solid eleven hours from 10:00pm to 9:00am. I thought, “Great! We are on our way!” Uh…Yeah. Now they just get up. All night long. It’s throwing my sleep off (on top of any remaining jet lag and being eight months pregnant), and I end up awake even between the visits of my children.

So I’m a little grumpy today.

And I will be changing my tactics tonight. Hopefully a change on my part will cause a change on their part! Maybe this is combining the transitions of jet lag and switching beds, so I’m just going through it once instead of twice?

 

Edit: I also miss Target. And pharmacy items in the grocery store. And Panera Bread.  Those cinnamon crunch bagels are *sigh* amazing…

Last night was much better! Emery came out of his room room two or three times before Stephen and I went to bed. And he visited once in the middle of the night. Also, he was up at 6:00 which was a little early, but I’ll take the overall improvement! I stayed in the kids’ room for about fifteen minutes after our bedtime routine to see that Emery stayed in his bed and everyone settled down.  Not sure if that is what made the difference; Emery was still awake though quiet and laying down when I left. We will see how tonight goes!

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