Our family update is a bit ordinary, but since I'm sitting here with nothing to do I thought of recapping a bit of our lives over the last several weeks. So, here I go...
The kids have just finished up their first 6-week school session. We started earlier than I originally planned so for now we're "ahead" of schedule. This gives us some nice flexibility through the rest of the school year. I tried to push through a seventh week to finish out our subtraction unit and we all crashed on Monday afternoon. Definitely a sign that we needed the scheduled break. So, we're taking it and I'm trying to figure out what to do with these guys to keep them busy.
You may have seen the first couple installments of our annual birthday line-up. This weekend we're gearing up to celebrate Claude's birthday which also happens to be our wedding anniversary. Once the first birthday of the line-up comes around I know that the rest of the year is going to fly by. After Claude we wait a few weeks to celebrate Abigail's birthday and then two weeks later it's Hannah's turn. After that we're on alert for our newest addition and what will be the end of our birthdays until next year.
Speaking of Chew Crew 5...we're plugging away through her pregnancy. I'm hoping that she can beat the odds of an early-ish arrival and actually come around her due date (three of the four little Crew members were born from 1-3 weeks "early"). This is mostly because my mom might be able to be here then and it would make logistics easier and would be really exciting if she could be here when the little bundle is born. But, since babies don't read calendars and aren't really aware of their estimated due dates, I'm not holding my breath.
Regardless of when she makes her appearance, this baby and I are certainly entering the home stretch...kind of. We hit the first day of the third trimester and suddenly I couldn't stay awake through the day, my back started feeling stiff and sore, and my belly touched the steering wheel for the first time. Despite how big I feel or how gigantic the kids think my belly has become, I know from experience just how much more growth will happen in the next 10 weeks or so. And I'm looking forward to it, even if I am stiff and sleepy. :)
Along the baby lines, we decided to switch our care provider. I had randomly chosen an OBGYN near our house in the start of the pregnancy. She was alright - cheerful and friendly - but I was having some doubts about how much support I would get in having a natural birth. Then we got a ballpark figure from the insurance company about our out-of-pocket expenses for a hospital birth. We decided to look into finding a midwife since even the out-of-network cost might be the same or less than an in-network hospital delivery.
We've found a great group of midwives and are glad to have made the switch. One of the greatest advantages at this point is that I can bring the kids with me to appointments, something that was not possible at the other office. It's a bit of a drive to their birth center - 45 minutes without traffic - so hopefully that won't be a time crunch thing when labor day comes around. All in all I'm really happy with the change and I'm glad to know that we will have ample support for the natural, intervention-free birth that we hope to have (barring any unforeseen complications, of course).
In other news we managed to kill a baby lizard in the sliding door yesterday. It provided a bit of excitement for the kids - excitement that they did not have to create on their own. Claude threw the lizard out on the back patio and it was gone by the morning. I don't really want to think about how it disappeared... Ick!
We're looking forward to some time with Claude this weekend and next. He's had some crazy hours at work this month, which has been tiring for him. We have a little "stay-cation" planned, if you can call it that, and hope to enjoy some time at the Children's Museum on Friday. We even found a Groupon! If you live in the Houston area, take advantage of this ongoing deal - the museum is tons of fun and if you can swing going on a weekday (afternoon is best) you can avoid some crazy crowds.
And, of course, Claude and I will be going on an anniversary date along with our usual family birthday celebration for the kids' favorite person on Saturday. It should be fun and I think the little guys will enjoy a change of pace. Who am I kidding? I think ALL of us will enjoy a change of pace!
Summer here hasn't been as hot as everyone made it out to be. Temperatures are definitely lower than when I was at school in Arizona (and I wasn't even there for the summer). Yes, the humidity is a bit oppressive sometimes, but most days aren't terrible. Inf act, we had days just as hot and humid back in New York. The only difference is that here the temperatures stay the same day in and day out - and therein lies the challenge. I haven't been very motivated to get outside with the kids, so everyone is a little (or a lot!) stir crazy.
In reality it's not any different than winters were in New York. Not being to get outside feels the same whether it's cold and snowy or hot and humid. As a result, I feel like it's winter time (even though we have the AC blasting when we drive in the car) so my internal calendar feels pretty skewed. I have actually asked my mom how school is going for my youngest sister...she's on summer break, of course. But the heat here is better than the cold in the Northeast - at least there is a lot of sunshine here!
And, back to the new baby thing for a minute. We made room over the weekend in our 7-passenger van for our seventh regular passenger. How does a family of seven fit 4 car seats and 1 booster seat into a mini-van? Like this!
It looks a little bit like how we drove a Toyota Corolla with three kids in the back seat.
It's actually a lot of fun seeing the seats filled up. And it'll be even more fun when the infant car seat is occupied again. Not that it had much of a break... :)
Along with rearranging the car seats came a strong desire to clean them. You know you're nesting when... ;)
It was not the best timing on my part, but we managed to wash all of the car seats and covers, and the double stroller and it's seats (this stroller is awesome - everything except the sunshades can be removed from the frame and thrown in the washing machine!). And no, I don't receive any commission for my recommendation, but if you are looking for a durable double stroller with lots of storage space, versatile seating arrangements, a reasonably compact fold, AND seats that can be washed easily try to find one of these. We got ours used on Craigslist. It's been the best double stroller we've owned!
Now, if you'll excuse me there's a half-naked baby toddling around with marker all over his stomach, a mess of toys that seems to be oozing out from the school room, and some birthday gift shopping that must be done...perhaps I should be on my way!
Oh, yes...there is also one last bit of exciting news to share, but I think it deserves it's own post. Keep your eye open for it! Until next time, here's a sneak peek into what that's all about...
What's been happening in your life lately?