Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Exciting Week

This is quite the week for us over here.  First off, I had my mid way ultrasound appointment yesterday.  It was, as always, an amazing experience.  I feel so blessed to live in a day and age where we have the technology to be able to take a peek at our little one inside.  Especially this early, before being able to feel super big kicks.  To be able to see the baby moving all around.  To see their tiny heart pumping, their little limbs moving all over, their tiny little perfect noses, and, of course, getting that confirmation of what "kind" of baby is in there.

I was asked if it loses some excitement with the 4th one, and for me, absolutely not.  I was still anxious all day, wanting the time until the appointment to speed by.  I was still a little nervous that there might be something wrong.  I was still waiting with baited breath to hear the announcement of the baby's gender.  And I laughed out loud when it was announced.  I had unconsciously been using a gender specific pronoun the last couple of days, and I was right. We are having our third little boy.  And we couldn't be more elated.  When it comes down to it, no, it didn't matter.  We would be elated with another girl.  I can't describe the feeling that came over me when we were leaving the hospital.  The feeling that this is our family.  This is it.  This is who we are going to make memories with.  This is who we will get to see blossom and grow.  This is who we will love for the rest of our lives.  3 boys and 1 girl.  Just seems right.  I know that anything can happen, that we aren't guaranteed anything in this life, but why on earth would I dwell on what might happen?  Doesn't seem like much fun.  I know what stress and worry can do to a person, and I know that if  I let myself, I can let worry drag me down too, but I can't allow that to happen.  As much as it pained me to see worry eat away at that person, it also made me much more aware of it in my own life as I've gotten older and have kids of my own.  I just wish that person were still around to talk to about it; I wasn't well enough equipped back then.

Wow, that certainly went to a place I wasn't expecting.  I suppose that's what happens when you write these things late at night on a whim...

In any event, I give you a sneak peek at our little one.  I'll spare you the boy proof picture.  I mean, I get why they print it off for you, but we will keep it to ourselves.

The other exciting part of our week is all about the oldest child of our little clan.  He will be going tomorrow morning to register and be screened for Kindergarten.  I am so very excited for him.  I know he is going to love school.  (For now, at least.) He has been counting down the days.

It's all kind of surreal for me.  We will be starting anew with a brand new life the same time we will be watching our oldest take some of those first real steps towards independence. I want him to be independent, but it isn't always easy to let go.

I can't wait to see what he can accomplish. I knew I wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember.  This is one of the things that I was looking forward to.  Seeing what my kids make of themselves.  To encourage them and push them to be their best.  Being on the brink of school just brings all those feelings to the forefront.  I know, he's only 5, but I feel like the post I will write when he is about to graduate from highschool will come along entirely too quickly.  I know the ride probably won't be an easy one, but it will be worth it.

I guess really, it feels like we are on the brink of starting a whole new phase of life.  We are both going to turn 30 this year.  We will celebrate our 10 year anniversary soon.  We are having our last baby (at least that's the plan). We are moving out of the newborn/baby stage and into the having kids in school phase.  It's exciting.

We've had some things not go the way we planned lately, and we are realizing just how trivial they really are.  We step back, take a look around, see the roof over our head, the food on our table, a 5 year old who can ask some profound questions, an almost 3 year old that constantly makes others laugh, a 10 month old that completely lights up at the sight of her daddy, and an ultrasound picture of a new life to come, we realize that we have been blessed by God so richly.  We couldn't ask for anything more.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hanging out at the Capitol

Our big trip has come and gone.

While we didn't head out to England, or someplace tropical, we still had a great time hanging out around Capitol Hill in our nation's capital, Washington, DC.

We really went back and forth about where we wanted to go.  England was out because it was way out of our budget, for both money and time.  All inclusive resorts were out because of budget - mostly because of the having to fly there first.  Flights are expensive.  We went back and forth between a cruise and this DC trip quite a few times, but in the end decided we wanted to save a cruise for when I would be able to do all the stuff we would want to do.  The one cruise we were looking at had some really cool excursions to ruins, but they deemed them as pretty physically intense, and that probably wouldn't be the best for the pregnant lady.  Plus there were the plane tickets, which most of the time actually cost more than the base price of the cruise...  So we decided to go off to DC.

We had a great time.  The great thing about going to DC is that every museum and site we went to was free.  We visited the Air and Space Museum, Museum of Natural History, The American History Museum, Museum of Art (which had an exhibit, The Art of Video Games, which was fun.), The Botanical Gardens - all free.  We didn't hit up a whole lot of the monuments as we had been there before.  We did check out the World War II memorial, as it was new since we had been there in 2000.  We did pay to see an IMAX movie at the Air and Space Museum.

Another thing I did for this vacation was to leave my camera at home.  These are all from my camera on my phone.  I just didn't want to have to worry about my camera.

We were kind of surprised because we didn't think the prices for food were all that outrageous, especially for a big city.

We chose to stay at a hotel close to the Capitol building with the idea that we would be able to walk everywhere.  And we did the first night and day, but then we decided to try out the metro system, and we are glad we did.  We both got a pass and rode the subway a few times.  It was super easy, and saved our feet and backs.  I think if we went again, we might stay a little further away from things, and use the subway more. I would think it would save a little on the cost of lodging.

We also checked out two movies while we were there. The Hunger Games and Wrath of the Titans.  I enjoyed them, but I'm really not that picky with movies.  We learned that one should never order concessions before knowing the price.  Lol.  We didn't have time for lunch before the one movie, so we got something to tide us over... cheap it was not.

Our last morning there we left and headed to my best friend's place in Lancaster, PA.  We got to visit with her and she gave us a place to sleep for our last night out.  It was so great. Plus I got to visit the Colombian bakery there for some Passion fruit juice, and it was wonderful.

Another thing we did for this trip was rent a car.  We only have a mini van and an suv, neither of which gets good gas mileage.  Plus, we really didn't want to put that much wear and tear on either of them, as they both have quite a few miles on them already.  When it was all said and done, we probably spent just about as much renting as we would have driving our own cars because of the crazy difference in gas mileage.  Definitely worth it for us.

I definitely would recommend our hotel if you ever want to stay close to Smithsonian Museums and the Capitol building.  We stayed at the Capitol Hill Suites.  When I was looking for a place there were very few options that close that also had a free breakfast and free wifi. They had both, and it was great.  The staff was very friendly.   Our room also had a small (empty) fridge, kitchen sink, and microwave.  The one drawback is that there was a fee for having our car parked there.

All in all it was a great trip for us.  We were able to have long conversations before 8pm that weren't interrupted.  I didn't have to worry about feeding anyone but myself, and there were no diapers to change.  We were able to sleep in past 7am! It was a great, relaxing extended weekend.

The kids had a great time too, hanging out with Grandpa and Grandma.  They all, apparently, slept really well, which is such a blessing, to have kids that can and will sleep anywhere.

OH - and especially fun is that I actually felt baby moving on the outside. (As in, I felt some movement, and put my hand where I was feeling it, and actually felt it on my hand.)  So that was great too, and I have really been having an increase in feeling movement.  Our ultrasound is next Tuesday, so hopefully I will be blogging about that soon.  As well as a new adventure we are possibly diving into.  (Ok, adventure might be too strong of a word... but it involves animals.)