It passed with little fanfare, but Luke and I celebrated our 6th anniversary on March 9th. Since it was just over a week after Everett's birth, going out wasn't much of an option, but my awesome Mom who had been staying with us fixed Luke and me a lovely dinner in before leaving that evening. We also got a little board gaming in that evening. One of the many reasons I love Luke is that he knows getting me a new board game as an anniversary gift is perfect.:)
As I sat down to dinner, Luke told me I had a sticker on my neck. I laughed, removed the Thomas the Tank Engine sticker and realized how indicative it was of the stage of life we are in right now. What a challenging, wonderful, beautiful six years it has been. I feel extremely blessed to have Luke as my partner in this life and that we get to parent these 2 adorable little boys.
On Friday, March 1st at 7:51 a.m. we welcomed Everett Archer into our family. What a beautiful, tiny little addition he is!:) He weighed in at just 5 lbs. 13 oz. and was 19.25" long (for those keeping track, that's about a full 3 lbs. less and 2 in. shorter than his brother was:). I ended up having a scheduled c-section. Due to my previous birth experience (something I hope to never repeat) and the fact that I could not be induced again, I opted to have a c-section on the calendar and just try for a vbac if I went into labor before that. I trusted that God knows best, so when the date arrived and there were still minimal signs of him coming naturally, I felt very at peace with our decision. When it turned out that Everett had the cord wrapped twice around his neck and for various other reasons, my doctor and I both felt that we had made the right choice.
Everett ready to go home (although he wet through this outfit before we made it out the door:)
Recovery has been about a million times easier than last time, which I am very thankful for. Everett is an awesome baby. He eats and sleeps well and although he lost 8 oz. in the hospital, within 3 days of being home he had surpassed his birth weight. So far he is a very chill kiddo.:) Mom stayed with us the first week, cooking and cleaning and helping out some with Max and it was a tremendous blessing! It was great having her around and it made the transition easier since I didn't have to think about staying on top of laundry and dishes etc. Luke is also has 2 weeks off, which I (and Max:) am loving!
We are enjoying getting to know our little guy and it's fun to see Max as an older brother. He loves Everett so much. Subconsciously we can tell that Max feels the difference. He's had a shorter fuse and has acted out a bit more than usual, but overall he is doing well with the change and each day he seems to acclimate even more. He is very cute with Everett and frequently asks to hold him and attempts to share cars and trains with him. They will be good buddies in no time.:) Life is good and I feel so blessed that I get to be the mommy to these 2 little boys!
I'm meeting my youngest son this week! I'm excited to meet the little buster; he's been doing some serious acrobatics these last several weeks and at this point I'd prefer this be happening on the outside than the inside.:) Can't wait to see his little face!
I don't want to forget these funny little moments and this seems like a good way to help remember them.:)
The other day Max and I were getting ready to go run an errand and I told him that we needed to put some letters in the mail box on our way out. He promptly ran over to the refrigerator and began removing his letter magnets from the fridge to take out to the mail box.:)
Things are about to change drastically around here. Baby boy #2 is just weeks away from his arrival. I'll admit to being both incredibly excited and somewhat anxious.:) I'm loving the stage that Max is at and feel like life has rhythm and somewhat of a routine. I'm prepared for routine to go out the window and to spend some time creating a new normal.
Max is rapidly closing in on 2 years old and I can hardly remember life without him!:) The boy talks pretty much constantly. We have actual conversations these days and there are no more quiet car trips. It's funny to listen to him in the other room playing as he talks to his cars and trains and keeps me apprised of what is happening. He is currently running his car down a ramp and declaring "nice!" when it reaches then end. He has taken a keen interest in his colors, which naturally makes my artist heart happy.:) Most of his toy cars are now prefaced and referred to with a color attached to them and bedtime is usually accompanied by a request for "green car" and "red car" to sleep with him. He also loves coloring with crayons-- although we have had a few incidents including writing on the wall, table and floor...:) He is fascinated by animals of all kinds and has nailed down most of their sounds. It cracks me up to see him develop opinions about things; he now has favorite shows on netflix. Some of which are more bearable than others.:) He loves "Thomas the Tank Engine" and somehow knows the names to at least 5 or 6 of the engines without having seen all that much of it. As a parent I have to say the most enjoyable kids show out there is "Shaun the Sheep". If you have young kids and need something that won't make you go crazy, you should check it out. That's my parenting tip for you.:)
Max recently met his cousin Emmi (my sister and brother-in-law just adopted her from China) who is just a couple months older than he is. He is pretty excited about her and most days tells me that he hugged and kissed Emmi.:) He seems to be somewhat in denial about the impending arrival of his baby brother. We talk to him about it and he has friends who have baby siblings that he is interested in, but if we ask if he's ready for baby brother we typically get an emphatic "no!". Hopefully he will acclimate quickly.:) He is so much fun and I love seeing how quickly he learns things and how much he loves life. Here are a couple recent-ish pics (I promise he does wear things besides pajamas!:):
As far as the rest of life goes, we enjoyed a nice Christmas and New Year with family. This has been quite the year. Lots of great things mixed in with some sadness. As I mentioned in my previous post, the year started off with the death of my maternal grandparents, the year also brought the suspected diagnosis of Parkinson's in my Dad. My sister and brother-in-law's move to Colorado is also sad for me, although I am happy for the opportunity for them! We are thankful that amidst the challenges, God also blessed us greatly this year. We have a house, another little boy on the way and I was able to leave my job over the summer in order to be home with Max and to focus more on my art. We also had the privilege of being able to help fund raise and prepare for my niece to come home from China! Had I been working, I would not have been able to participate in the same way.
We are slowly getting things in order around the house and trying to finish up preparations. I found out I was pregnant very shortly after our move, so there was a lot that just didn't get accomplished. I'm thankful for the nesting instinct that comes in the third trimester.:) I finally got some of the motivation and energy I needed to get things done! Luke has a had a few holidays too, which has helped. We both do so much better working on big projects together and it has been rewarding to get some things under control. We love having a house of our own. It's not without its challenges and frustrations, but we are really happy with our home and our location.
We also finally decided on a baby name. That's big news around here as it obviously took some time. It is of course subject to change, but we are 98% sure we know his name.:) Life as we know it is definitely about to change, but we are excited about meeting little buster and being a family of 4!
i am an artist. you will find over time that this explains most things about me.:) i work at a used bookstore, which is a pretty sweet job. i'm happily married to and very much in love with my husband Luke. we have a calico cat named Clio who thinks she owns the world and a black cat named Ceasar who is much larger and more mellow than the crazy one.:) we are expecting our first baby in mid-april and are pretty pumped about moving into this new phase. life is pretty great, even though i tend to be somewhat cynical about it. our God is sovereign.