This week is becoming blurry. My to-do lists on top of our regularly scheduled programs has me going from 6 in the morning to about midnight, every night. For me, nesting is so much more than just getting things ready for the baby--it's every other ridiculous project that I'm somehow convinced must be done before the baby arrives. Like reorganizing my make-up drawers, or adding curtains to a craft room, or finally tossing out all those damn 12-24 month random unmatched socks that have accumulated at the bottom of Chance's sock drawer.
Important? Hell no. But necessary in my mind? You betcha. I've been trying to explain myself to Eugene that its really more about getting this stuff done so that I can CHILL THE HELL OUT for the next couple months. I really envision slowing down to a pace I'm not normally used to. I want to enjoy these beginning moments with my family as much as I can and not worry about these silly un-important tasks.
Now whether or not I'll actually chill out is still to be determined, but that's my hope at least.
Nestled in my daily to-do's was special one-on-one dates with my kids before the baby arrives. I did this last time right before Chance was born and it was so meaningful for me to have that time together just mother and child, soaking it in. In 2010, Mia and I went to the zoo and Bella and I went fishing and strangely enough I remember EVERYTHING about these dates. I can't remember where I left my phone most days but by golly I can recite our conversations verbatim.
Whenever I have a kid date, my mission is simple--make a connection. A real, honest to goodness connection that assures them how important they are to our family and to me. I make it a point to discuss the upcoming changes and hope to help clarify any uncertainty they may have. It's always so much easier to talk about these things when it's just the two of us.
Bella knew right away that she wanted to go to the Museum of Science and Industry with me. Which didn't surprise me in the least since she's so fascinated with the WHY'S of life. We walked and talked and guessed what it would be like with another boy in the house. We envisioned future road trips with another child singing along loudly, we anticipated how difficult night time routines may be when daddy's out of town.
But my favorite part was when we talked about her birth and how much her grand entrance changed everything about my life--for the better. She laughed when I told her what her dad and I used to do before we had kids. I told her how I used to spend my time working, shopping, hanging out with friends and traveling the world.
The museum was a perfect place for us to just roam. Bella discovered her inner scientist and was validated with a sticker when she proudly told an attendant that ostriches and penguins are, in fact, winged birds that cannot fly.
SHE WAS SO PROUD OF HERSELF!
We saw the Animals-Inside and Out exhibit that's by the same creators as Bodyworlds. It was mind blowing to see the inner workings (bones, muscles and blood vessels) of a real 20 foot giraffe, a massive bull and even an ostrich. Her and I walked around hand-in-hand looking at every detail. Something I totally wouldn't have the patience for had I brought my other two kids along. As we were leaving Bella made sure to write a little note in the guest book, showing me just how grown up she's becoming. She just began writing--not asking for a suggestion or a spelling change--nothing. I even politely (pathetically) tried to offer some advice, but no, a quick "I got this Mom" was the response immediately sending my tear ducts into overdrive.
For Mia's special date we decided that we wanted to explore our inner creativity and decided that a night of painting would be perfect. We enjoyed an unbelievably awesome dinner at Panera, where I discovered that she's quite the companion when she's not surrounded by her siblings fighting over god knows what. My mission with Mia was to make sure she understood what was going to happen to me in the hospital. We talked about the procedure, the recovery, my limitations etc.
She told me she wished she could spend the night in the hospital with me (awwwwe) and when I responded with a genuine "I wished you could too" she sensed I really meant it and immediately got out of her seat walked over and hugged me. She's so in tune with everyone's emotions, its crazy. I adore that quality of hers.
After a delightful dinner we strolled the streets of downtown LaGrange until we found the ceramic art cafe where we planned to paint our own pottery.
We decided we would make 2 bowls, one for her and a large snack bowl for our family fun nights. Being the only two people in the cafe, her and I laughed and painted and talked. We talked about how important her new role will be when her brother arrives. I reassured her of what a great sister she is and begged for her patience during bedtime when it may be difficult for me to put four kids to sleep and REALLY stressed the importance of my "only 1 child crying at a time" rule.
But my jaw dropping favorite moment of the night was when she told me that "she definitely had some leftover space in her heart to love a new brother."
IT MADE MY NIGHT.
For my special date with my little lover, I just knew he'd go nuts over a picnic and an afternoon of uninterrupted race car driving. Several AWESOME moms I know lent us their electronic cars for the day and let my little guy ride his heart out. Thank you Sharon and Sharon!
We headed over to my Aunt's house and little Andretti was off!
He was SO happy and so independent without his older sisters bossing him around.
He loved it when I sent him on "errands" like the grocery store, where he came back with milk and 2 apples or should I say a pinecone and 2 leaves :)
With Chance, I knew I couldn't go into the "future of our family conversation" or the "medical explanation talk", but I could remind him that he's loved. Over and over I reassured him how special he is, how he'll still be loved when his brother comes and that he'll spend the rest of his life being appreciated by all of us, unconditionally.
Which, in between mouthfuls of Dunkin Donut munchkins, I think he understood.
Here's a quick video clip that I'm posting here in case it ever gets deleted from my phone. I love this clip almost as much as I love him.
Now I gotta dash--the post office, bank and Goodwill drop-off calls my name.
3 days and counting!!!