I should probably start with the biggest--or smallest, depending on your point of view. The name of our blog is becoming even more apropos, as we are expecting a third child in about 4 1/2 months! I am 20w2d pregnant as of today with a long-awaited baby, and we could not be happier about the little one who will be joining our family come March-ish.
He/she was being very stubborn and did not want to get into a particularly good position for pictures. I have somehow managed to pass on the stubbornness trait to all of my children, whether biological or not.
We did not find out the baby's gender because we're planning to be surprised. I've been surprised at how many people assume that we're hoping for a girl--truly, our boys are so much fun that how could we be anything but overjoyed if we have another one? We're just thrilled to be able to add to our family, and very relieved to find out that the baby appears very healthy.
I've been feeling him/her kick for almost 2 months, and Jason and the kids have all felt movement also. It's amazing to me that this baby was strong enough to kick hard enough that Jason could feel it at 17 weeks! I am so thankful for a healthy, active, strong little one who has made it this far. Only another 20 weeks or so to go!
We are planning to give birth to this baby at home and could not be more excited about our decision*. Patrick actually started advocating for homebirth an hour after we told the kids about the baby (at the end of the first trimester)--"Mama, are you going to the hospital to have the baby or will you have a homebirth?" I said that Daddy and I would talk about it and make a decision. He immediately said "I think you should have the baby at home!" I had no idea that he'd been paying such close attention to my Bradley classes! Both kids have seen tons of birth videos and are excited to be able to be here. I've told Melkamu that he can be one of the first people in the world to hold the baby when it's born, and he is incredibly puffed-up with pride and excitement.
Beyond than that news, the kids and Jason and I are doing well! Kamu's breathing has been better now that he's on regular medications (Flo.vent and Singu.lair), so we haven't had a crisis or had to have him on steroids in about 4 months. Before that, he was on them about every 6 weeks - 2 months. Winter and spring will be the telling seasons, as that's normally when he has problems. He loves daycare and seeing his friends, has learned his colors, and is starting to learn his letters. He still has issues with counting but we're working on them. Melkamu has also grown incredibly in the last couple of years. When he came home at 16 months of age, he was 22 lbs and wearing 12 month-sized clothes. He will be 4 a month from tomorrow and now weighs about 39 lbs, is 46" tall, and wears 5T clothes. He's constantly mistaken for being about 5 years old! This can be a little frustrating at times since he certainly acts like a typical 3-year-old but people expect him to behave older than he is based on his size. Kamu loves to giggle and play, and is incredibly cuddly. He is such an amazing and loving little boy!
Patrick is in first grade and toothless--he has lost all four of his front teeth, and only one of the bottom ones has started to come in. He still plays soccer and is now in the U8 league. We have been astounded at how far Patrick has come with his reading. He fought with us about practicing reading frequently in kindergarten, even though he could read. (He doesn't like to do anything about which he is less-than-confident.) Now, though, he hardly stops reading! The other night he and I read the first chapter of a Magic Treehouse book (we alternate pages when we read together). Then he asked if he could read a little more before bed, so I said sure. The next night, I asked if he wanted to read some more of it and he said "No, I finished it last night." I don't know if he'd ever read a whole chapter book himself before! He and Jason have just finished The Ozma of Oz, and I'm planning to start reading the first Harry Potter book with him soon.
Jason and I are moving right along. Work is going fine. Jason's job is just a job, but a job is better than the year of no job. My job is going very well and I think I've got things worked out for maternity leave so that I will still be in good shape to apply for tenure in a year or so. I have great students this semester and they're really making it go very quickly. We're already past midterms!
Our extended families have had some serious health issues, so we've been worrying about them a lot. We wish we were closer to be there in person, but know that we love you and think of you all the time!
I will try to be back with an update in a few days and may do NaBloPoMo again next month. Love to all!
*We carefully considered our options and this is the best one for our family. We are happy to talk more about homebirth and ask that people respect our decision as being well-informed.