Monday, June 23, 2014

Life Lately

When was the last time I wrote a real post on here? I feel like it's been forever. I mean, I love my kids, but gosh, they take up all my free time! But like a friend who's a mommy of six once told me, "If you have one kid, they take up all your time. If you have two kids, they take up all your time. If you have five kids, they take up all your time!" So I don't really feel like I'd have a lot more time if I had fewer children. Maybe if I had older children, but not fewer…

Anyways, life. Life is crazy up in these parts. Here's why:

Playing in the pool at the Memorial Day gathering with Shannon's stepmom's side of the family.

Lane. Ahh, my dear Lane. Smart as a whip and stubborn as a mule. Still. We have moved past the tantrums stage, past the basic disobedience stage (mostly), and now we're in the manipulative shrew stage. This girl tries to talk her way into whatever she wants. She's also getting some sass and attitude, which is not acceptable. So we're giving her a drop of vinegar on her tongue when her mouth says something as nasty as vinegar tastes. Not sure if it's working, but we're working on taming the tongue.

Checking out the fish at the aquarium in Gatlinburg.

Noel. Dear goodness I love that girl but she is oh. so. two-years-old these days. She's super smart and very verbal, but she is so stinking emotional. Hence lots of fits are being pitched in the Scarbrough household these days. She cries when she doesn't get her way, and then she cries more when she gets in trouble for crying from not getting her way. She has become more work than Lane, and that's saying a lot since she's always been the easier of the two of them.

Love the look on her face.

Raye. Well, let's face it. All newborns are a lot of work. Raye is pretty easy-going and mellow but she still requires the basics. I'm so thankful she's a quick eater. Most of the time we can be completely finished with a feeding session in 20 minutes, including changing a diaper and burping her, and even changing her clothes if necessary. She's sweet and calm but she is still a baby, so adding in the unknown of her schedule and needs on a daily basis and it just helps things be a little crazier around here.

Shopping. Since we're getting ready to head back overseas we're stocking up on stuff for the next three years and replacing what's worn out over the last four years. Clothes and shoes for me and Shannon (he actually needed more clothes than I did…I needed mainly clothes to get me through the 10-pounds-heavier-than-normal-because-I-just-had-a-baby stage. But I needed more shoes than him…I've only had one new pair of good shoes in the last four years). Random spices, medicines, kitchen supplies. Sheets and mattress protectors, luggage, and so on. I'm so tired of shopping!

Surgery. About two days after bringing home a certain 8 lb., 5 oz. chunk from the hospital, I developed tendonitis in my left wrist. Of course I didn't know that's what it was until this past Wednesday, when I found out and scheduled surgery for Friday. It was a last-minute decision in order to fix the problem the quickest so we can still try to make it back out of the country by the end of July. I did it without sedation, and am recovering nicely, although I feel a bit like a gimp with my wrist in such a huge splint. I am grateful to have more capabilities than I thought I would, though!

The girls attended Vacation Bible School a couple of weeks ago. In order to earn some money to put in the offering plate I set them to work gathering sticks out of the yard (it has stormed SO many times here this summer…it's crazy how much it's rained!). I think they did a pretty good job for 2 and 4 years old!

Doctor's visits. Since Raye was born we've been to the doctor…too many times. Three times for Raye, plus a hospital visit for her hearing screen (that they forgot to do while we were actually staying there). Twice for Shannon (basic physical and bloodwork). Four times for me (basic physical, six-week postpartum checkup, initial visit to the orthopedic surgeon, actual surgery). Once for Lane (double ear infection and strep throat). And we've been to the dentist, too. Both Lane and Noel have been for a cleaning, and I went twice for the two stages of a crown (gotta say that as much as it stinks, I'm grateful that after four years overseas the only thing that Shannon and I needed was one crown each…not too bad when the only work you need done is to fix old work that's just…old.). Anyone counting? That's eleven visits just to the doctor and four to the dentist in the last seven weeks. And there's more to come: Raye's 6-week check-up and immunizations this Wednesday. Noel still needs the last booster in her rabies vaccination series, and she needs her hepatitis A booster shot. These involve driving almost an hour to the department of health in downtown Birmingham. I'll have a follow-up visit from this surgery in two weeks. And surely between now and then someone will get sick and need to go to the doctor for a prescription. Yikes.

A rare photo of all of us on the train at Dollywood.

A bit of fun. *I went to the movies for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long without Shannon. I went with some ladies from church and we saw "Moms' Night Out." It was definitely not quite a mom's night out for me since I had Raye in tow, but it was a cute movie and I definitely enjoyed it. *We bought year passes for the Birmingham Zoo and we've taken the girls three times so far. We're looking at taking them again today if the rain will hold off. It's so nice to be able to go for just a couple of hours and not feel like we have to stay all day to "get our money's worth." Even Raye has been to the zoo. *I went shopping a couple of times and got some new summer clothes that will hopefully fit me after I've lost the rest of my baby weight: maxi skirts and a dress and modest tank tops. It's so great to be wearing something other than maternity clothes! *We spent a week in  Gatlinburg on a much-needed vacation: we just swam and let the girls watch a few more shows than usual, ate special treats, spent a day at Dollywood, and just got to be together without other things pulling us in a million directions. My dad and stepmom and sister and her family came for our weekend there, and Shannon's dad and stepmom and the girls' cousin Alexandra came for the rest of the week. It was a good break for us all.

Daddy in the pool with both his girls.

Getting healthy. Shannon's cholesterol is too high, he has about ten pounds to lose, and I have at least ten pounds left to lose, really more like 15. So we're on a diet…lots of fruits and veggies, not many carbs or sweets. It's so nice to feel like cooking, because that last month or so of pregnancy was just miserable and I did NOT want to be on my feet cooking anything. Now I want to be in the kitchen, especially with it being summer and there being lots of good, fresh produce available. We joined a gym and Shannon's been going regularly for a couple of months now, and on alternate days he exercises his shoulders and upper back (as prescribed by the PT he saw for six weeks while we were in North Carolina in response to his injuring his shoulder last summer). I went three times this last week and am doing the Couch-to-5K program. Now that we think we're done having babies I actually see the point in getting back into shape. =)

So there's a bit of what's been going on around here. I'm headed to Texas on Sunday to visit a dear friend and the bigger girls will probably spend time with their grandparents while I'm gone so Shannon can get some work done. After that we'll be mostly just trying to get ready to move back overseas and keep our sanity!

Monday, June 2, 2014

1 Month Old

Dear Raye,

Today you are one month old. I think this has been the fastest month to pass by in history. It seriously seems like just yesterday that I was miserably pregnant with you and begging the doctor to induce me. It's also amazing to me that I have three daughters. Three. My heart is so full, and I'm so grateful for each of you.

Your first time to "Doughnut Friday," where daddy takes the girls for doughnuts. Mamoo was there, too!

You are a very good baby. I bought a sling/wrap to carry you around in so that you can get some good naps in if we're out and about a lot, or if you're just having a rough day with naps. But as of today you seem to be getting the whole nap thing. You fell asleep in your little travel crib, on your own, without much fussing or crying, three times today. Yesterday you had a nap or two in the travel crib where you fussed for about 15 minutes, but you didn't cry or scream like you sometimes do. I will be very happy when we figure the napping thing out, as so far that is the hardest part of having three kids: when you don't want to nap so I just have to hold you or comfort you…it makes getting anything else done (or spending time with your big sisters) nearly impossible. So I'm happy that we're making some progress there. You are sleeping well at night, though, so for that I am grateful. You generally wake up twice in the middle of the night, but this past week you've done a 5.5-hour and a 6.5-hour stretch without eating, so you were only up once in middle of the night those nights. I'm hoping that you follow in Noel's steps and sleep through the night by three months…maybe you'll even do it earlier since you were over two pounds heavier than her when you were born!

You have passed the super-sleepy newborn stage (and let's face it, since you were 12 days late we didn't get but a couple of super-sleepy days) and are alert and wide-eyed and taking it all in. You've smiled a few times this month and cooed at us a few times. You are perfectly content to look around and don't demand to be held all day, unless you're overtired, and then you just want to sleep in our arms. I think that your ideal wake time length is 50 or 60 minutes…you like to be awake and will keep yourself there if we don't get you to sleep in time, but if we get you in bed before the hour mark has passed you seem to sleep better.

You haven't had any tummy time this month because your stubborn umbilical stump just won't fall off. Your neck is strong, though…I can tell from letting you lie on my chest and lift your head, or when I'm burping you and you look around…you have good head control for a 1-month old. I took you to the doctor almost three weeks ago and you had gained 1.5 pounds from your birthweight…you were 9 lbs, 13 oz three weeks ago. Surely you are a good ten pounds now, if not 11. You are a fast eater, usually finishing in about five minutes per side. You have a little bit of baby acne but not too much. You still have a ton of hair. And the general consensus seems to be that you look like Lane (and therefore like your daddy).

This month you've met all of your aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents except for your Uncle Sean. You took your first road trip through Georgia (briefly) and on to Tennessee. You got your first passport. You went to the aquarium in Gatlinburg, although you slept through the whole visit. You've had a lot of adventures already. Your big sisters love you so much…they love to "pet" you, and Noel constantly says, "Raye is so teeny." They're glad you're here, as are the rest of us. It's been a wonderful month, and we pray for many, many more with you.

We love you,
Mommy (and Daddy)