Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jumping Bean

My exuberant Jumping Bean,

5 years ago, this world became more fun.
Your birth announcement picture

It was a Tuesday. And after 2 (or was it 3?) false alarms, your ding-dong Mommy finally started having real contractions.  I am still thankful for those false alarms, because the 2nd one seemed like the real deal enough to get Grandma to come down to get in on the action.

Grandma and String Bean enjoying brand-new-you

September 25th in Pensacola, Florida.
It was officially fall...but Florida doesn't acknowledge that season until November sometime (maybe). After a fitful night's sleep, I decided to finish out thank-you notes while hoping the annoying cramping would turn into something productive.

Our family of 4!

Once I finished the belly started visibly contracting. Grandma was keeping a close eye on me (and you!) and we had decided to not do anything - to completely ignore them - until we couldn't anymore.

First time at the beach - 4 days old

Daddy had gone to get a quick work-out in, and then we were all going to have a picnic at the beach.

He changed his plans.
You changed my plans.

Daddy decided to play racquetball for an hour and a half.
Without his cellphone.
Where none of his friends had THEIR cellphones.
Where he couldn't hear the gym paging him.

Look who can stand - and walk - at 1!

Contractions were definitely getting stronger - past the "uncomfortable" stage - and on a consistent pattern. OHMYGOSH. This is the real deal.

Our kind neighbor came over to watch String Bean, Grandma loaded me into the car, and we were about to head to the hospital without Daddy.
Some would say I was mildly annoyed at Daddy.
A more accurate description would be stark raving mad.

You were a purple-fairy-princess for Halloween when you were 2

As we started to pull out of the apartment parking lot, Daddy pulled up with his friend. Quickly he assessed what was going on, and he said, "Hang on. I need to shower."

That didn't really calm me down.

A little over 2 years old

Grandma was a neutral party who did a very good job calming the crazy woman 
and enlightening the late-arriving Daddy.

We arrived at the hospital at 12:30, and my water broke at 2:30.

Around 4:00, things started to get fun. That was when my body kicked in high gear and said it was almost time to evict you. :)

At 5:15 I thought I needed to push, but I wasn't completely ready. 
NOT pushing, when even your toenails are screaming PUSH!!!!!!!!, is rather challenging.  
At 5:25, they cleared me to push, and 3 pushes later, at 5:29, you screamed to wake the dead.

2 and half...full of personality


Hospital staff were coming in to see you because they had never heard a newborn scream so loudly. 

I wish I could say my first words to you were sweet and loving.
But they weren't.
When they held you up and showed me your 8lb 8oz self, I just said:

"Holy crap. She's HUGE!!"

2 and a half - posing in your own way

Then I cried. The ugly cry. You were so beautiful and so strong and so healthy. And so stinkin' LOUD. I loved finally getting to touch the strong legs that had bruised my abdominal cavity; to touch the elbows that loved hanging out in my ribs.

Grandma cut the cord.
Daddy hugged you.

We all fell in love with you.

Our sweet Jumping Bean, I'm so very thankful that I get to be your Mama. My life is brighter, better, and bouncier, because of you. I'm so glad you're my girl; and I'm even more glad you're God's girl.

5 years old!
Happy 5th birthday.


Your Mama

 Copyright 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Why's and What for's....

Well, change is happening. Or happened.

I'm NOT pregnant.

We had planned on homeschooling String Bean (2nd grade) and Jumping Bean (Kindergarten) this year.
Here is the why behind that decision:
It worked pretty well last year.
My Love is still on a sea tour and will be deploying early next year.
We wanted the flexibility of the homeschooling schedule so we could be with My Love whenever possible.

Really, that was the primary reason FOR homeschooling: Flexibility/time with Daddy.

But when we found out his schedule (And realized how very little we will see him over the next year) homeschooling didn't really seem to make sense for us.

I've never been a die-hard homeschooler.
I guess you could say I'm reluctant at best.  
And I was really, really, really nervous about starting up school knowing that a deployment was staring me in the face.

I was beyond nervous. I felt overwhelmed.
I knew that no matter what I did - one of the areas (at least!) I'm responsible for, would fail.

My Love knows me very well, and he trusts me to tend to the things of home when he is away. But when we learned his schedule - he became much more concerned about the weight of homeschooling on my shoulders.  Work-ups and deployments are HARD. They are hard on all members of the family and they are EXHAUSTING.

He wanted to alleviate some of that pressure.

I finally admitted to My Love that I was dreading starting school. 
I was terrified of the work load it would bring. 
And I didn't know if that terror was because I am lazy and just didn't' want to DO the work; 
OR if it was because I was adding work I wasn't supposed to bear. 

Sometimes, it is really hard to tell the difference.

The night before school officially started, the decision was made:
"Whitney, we're sending them to school."

I almost cried, I was so relieved.

God knew all along we would be here. He planned it out so beautifully.  
For them to go to school, they are required to have physicals and updated shots...back in June when I made their annual appointment, the first opening the Doctor had was on Tuesday, September 4th.
The First Day of School.
The day I was going all over the place enrolling them.
So, on THAT day - unknown to me 3 months ago - I went to: 2 schools and picked up paperwork; the Pediatricians office and had 2 physicals and 3 children caught up on shots (highly NOT recommended);  had String Bean do a reading assessment; dropped off paperwork; saw 2 classrooms; met 2 teachers; and did all the back to school shopping. (Thank you Target!)
Did I mention ALL 4 were with me the WHOLE time?! I was exhausted.

So now, String Bean is happily enrolled as a 2nd grader at the public school for our neighborhood; and Jumping Bean is attending Kindergarten at a small Christian preschool/Kindergarten down the street. They are both over-the-moon excited! AND  - they only missed 1 day. :)

We've been at this for one week now...and everyone is thriving.  This house is loaded with 3 over-the-top-off-the-charts extroverts - and all 6 of us are loving this change.

String Bean comes home almost giddy every day. (Even yesterday, when she got her finger stuck/pinched in a door and had to wait for someone to come by and set her free) She loves riding the bus. Her classmates are lovely. She loves the competition, the schedule, the workload.

Jumping Bean loves her teacher. She loves meeting new people and doing new things. She has the space to show her personality without being constrained by her siblings. She loves having her own place - her own things - her own friends.

Bitty Bean and I have been doing school together - and she loves the uninterrupted time she gets. I can focus on just her. When we dropped Jumping Bean off that first day, Bitty Bean buckled back into her seat and said, "Oh yeah. I'm the big boss lady now!"

Boy Bean is also developing through this. There are more quiet moments and time where he can talk for himself. He is learning to do things, because a sister won't do it for him. I am able to teach him (and Bitty Bean) things that had slid to the side...following through on cleaning up, obedience, speaking, cooking together, reading together, time to enjoy each other.

For the first time in forever, My Love came home to a clean home, a good meal, caught up laundry, happy children, and a happy wife.

I think that about sums it up. :)

~Whitney Copyright 2012