Brothers

Having a baby is pretty great. But then as I was just starting to get into a good groove, I got a bit sick, baby also got sick and live gets thrown off again. We are both recovering just fine now.

Everything takes a lot longer, especially because Zack prefers to be held all the time. Literally. He sleeps better with a warm person next to him. When I was sick, I wanted a nap so bad and had a tender mercy from the Lord when he slept by himself so I could take a good nap.

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This is Henry’s first day of preschool. He is loving preschool: super excited to go and loves to show me all that he does. IMG_20190910_085421041

This is Zack’s current version of a smile. IMG_20190915_144412427_BURST000_COVER_TOP

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Garden

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The garden has done pretty well this year. I think this Asian pear tree might tip over with all the fruit on it. IMG_6374

The raised beds did great. I planted way too many tomatoes, and the summer squash exploded. I’ve been feeding extras to my chickens. IMG_6369

We’ve had quite a few good melons. I was sad to find out my striped Armenian cucumber died soon after transplanting. Instead, I have pickling cucumbers, with no intention to make pickles. IMG_6370IMG_6372

This is the first year I also felt like I’ve got enough eggplant. I use it exclusively to make ratatouille and have quite a few batches stored in the freezer. IMG_6371IMG_6364

I signed up for Chip Drop years ago…and was pleasantly surprised to drive home and find a huge load. It’s all conifer trees and full of pine needles and smells amazing. The whole yard is getting a new layer of mulch, and we don’t have to spend a dime or use our truck. IMG_6352IMG_6353IMG_6357IMG_6359

Baby Life

This little guy is doing just great. Gaining weight, nursing well (which is a happy surprise because I basically didn’t nurse him for the first three weeks of his life) and he’s generally happy. If he’s being held. It’s a lot of work though, just to help someone eat and sleep and poop. I’m glad he’s so cute. IMG_6391IMG_6396IMG_6400IMG_6404IMG_6408IMG_6409IMG_6412

The remaining children are all doing pretty good at school. Henry loves preschool, and the other kids slipped into their new grades without any fuss. IMG_6375IMG_6367

Expectations

We all have expectations. I use my expectations to guide my life and shape my experience. When we have expectations for our future, it helps us to grow and be better.

But I’ve been trapped and limited because of my expectations too. When I have expectations of my past, and these expectations weren’t met…I am miserable.

I’ve been holding on to past expectations for a long time, piling then up on top of each other and loading myself up with regret. I think about all the times I lost my temper with my children, the times I was shy or said something awkward, the times my children did not behave…all of these times where my expectations failed. And rather than accepting the past for what it was, I hold on wrongly thinking I can somehow change things.

I have no power to change the past, and by holding on to any expectation, I am setting myself up for misery. I am learning to let go of past expectations and accept everything for what it is. I have become lighter, happier to a greater depth than I have ever felt before.

Baby!

Around midnight: I get up for five minutes to turn on the irrigation. (We have old-fashioned flood irrigation.) Then as I’m going back to sleep shortly thereafter, I roll over and I feel a gush of fluid, and I know…my water broke! No questions about it. I get up, wake up Joe, and we realize we have to go to the hospital. So the next while was spent packing and figuring out where to go that is covered by our insurance and takes care of preemie babies. I’m still wrapping my mind around the fact that I’m going to have a baby.

Checking in, getting all the paperwork in took a while. And then we waited. I had antibiotics, a couple of steroid shots, and some iffy contractions, and a few attempted naps. Eventually, it turned into Pitocin. Finally, it was a little bit harder to watch the show we were watching but not too bad…and the pressure moved lower…and I knew I was getting close.

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So I called in the nurse, and sure enough, we headed over to the OR. (They always deliver preemies in the OR.) And within ten minutes of getting there, and one good contraction, my little guy was here. Pink, small but not too small, and crying just a bit. I held him for a minute, and then they whisked him off to evaluate him.

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At five weeks early, he was 5 lbs 11 oz, and 19 1/4 long. No problems with breathing, a little cold but otherwise just perfect for his age. The strangest thing of most lasting impact is an extra thumb on his right hand! (I have no problem with that, it just makes him an interesting baby and we will figure out if we need to do anything about it down the road.)

Even though this wasn’t the birth I expected, I’m happy with how everything went. I had plans to deliver at a birth center, and I frankly wasn’t very happy with the care I was getting and had a lot of doubts. Going to the hospital wasn’t a disappointment. Labor and recovery were easy for me: I was watching TV through my contractions up until the end, and that lasted about twenty minutes. (I’ve never had an epidural not because I am a strong person, but simply because I have easy labors.)

Baby is doing well, and I’ll write more about him later!

Hobbit Caves

We found out about this little adventure on a blog and headed up one Saturday. We combined a visit to the caves with a picnic at Second Dam. And then when Henry fell into the stream and got all wet after proclaiming boldly, “I can do it myself!” we went home.

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