Thursday, September 6, 2012

35 Weeks and All is Well

I missed my 34 week pregnancy update and picture and now we are just two days away from hitting 36 weeks. I'm really okay with it and don't feel an ounce of guilt for missing that one. We have seen the 35 weeks down/35 days to go mark come and go and I am on the edge of my seat with anticipation for the arrival of our baby girl #2.

Life has been busy, so incredibly busy. But it has also been FULL. An unexpected overflow of joyful days that are filled to the brim with meeting new friends, snuggles with Grace, working side by side with my husband, and stuffing my brain with more Arabic than I thought possible.

Our mornings start out slow, as Grace has taken to sleeping in now. Or, I should say, she's stopped letting us know she's awake. She's perfectly content to wake up, sit or lay and her crib, and just stare at her pacifiers for an hour or more on end. And we love her for it.

Occassionally she'll stand up and stare out her second story window that overlooks a road. When the large trucks go by we may hear her yell "Beep, beep! Beep, Beep!"

Or, we may not, depending on our level of consciousness at the time.

We both try to get up at 8 am, so that the entire morning doesn't feel wasted. Or rather, my internal alarm wakes me up at two minutes until 8 every day, and I wake up Ian. We sneak quietly into Grace's room to see what she's up to, then smile and laugh as we pick her up. She immediately does the sign for "food," nods her head emphatically, and says "Yes!" Every. Time. It melts my heart.

We walk down the stairs together, put her in her high chair with a pile of cheerios and a cup of milk, turn on a show, and get our own bowl of cereal while we check emails and eat on the couch. Sometime around 8:30 we let Grace down from her high chair and play with her, while we take turns going back up stairs and showering for the day.

Grace goes down for a nap between 9:30 and 10 and will "sleep" until noon. We use this time to work. Ian goes off to his office and I start a load of laundry or do a chore around the house before settling in for some study time.

Grace's wake up routine for nap time is much the same, with both of us wanting to see what she's up to and her immediately asking for food. We don't usually let her watch any more tv in the day, and if I've planned ahead enough, we'll all sit down for lunch at the same time. Often, I couldn't wait until noon for lunch so I've already eaten, and will sit with my little family and read to Grace from a storybook while they eat.

12:30 to 2:30, Grace plays and bee bops around. She usually gets a box of raisins or a bag of salad chips (not as healthy as they sound, trust me,) around 2. She constantly drinks milk during the day, about 20-24 oz a day! During this awake time, we try to get chores done around the house or take turns working/studying while the other watches Grace. If we have nothing else planned for the day and Grace is stir crazy (still over 100 degrees here with a heat index close to 130 most days,) I'll run errands at this time to get her out of the house.

Nap time begins again at 2:30. I had been trying to use this second nap time as another study period but this last week or so of pregnancy has knocked me out during the afternoon. I kiss Ian good night and head up stairs to nap while Grace naps. Ian works during this time and usually gets Grace up at 4 or 4:30 and lets me sleep until 4:30 or 5.

Dinner time prep and play time ensues and Grace eats dinner in her high chair around 6. I'd like to say that we all sit down for dinner at the same time, but it doesn't happen very often right now. Usually I am not pulling dinner out of the oven until right at Grace's bed time.

Sometimes dinner gets delayed as I take Grace to go visit our neighbor ladies. Mostly not though, as I can't seem to figure out their evening schedules yet. Hopefully I will soon.

After Grace eats, some days I take her outside to play in front of our house. Our shared driveway with three other villas is a common play area for the neighbor kids, and Grace loves to play with the toys they leave strewn about. I try to bring out a few of her "outside" toys every once in a while, but they take a beating by the kids when I do. It's hot and humid during that time of evening and we usually only last 20 to 30 minutes before Grace is running for our front door asking for something to drink, with pink cheeks and a sweaty little head.

My mind is usually filled to the brim with the Arabic I just had to use with 3-8 little kids and so I happily bid adieu to the kids and explain, every time, that Grace sleeps all night long. And that no, she can't come out to play with them at 11 pm that night. Sorry.

Maybe a bath will follow, but usually not, as Grace's eczema does best when she doesn't get a bath every night. It's been alot better since we moved here, because there is humidity in the air, where before we lived in a dry desert city.

Bedtime routine is pajama time, followed by teeth brushing (she'll say Ahh and stick out her tongue when we ask her to, but mainly she just likes to suck the toothpaste off of the brush!) We snuggle and pray together before turning on her night time music before she lounges for her bed and her 3 pacifiers. Yes. Three. One in her mouth  and one in each hand. We turn and walk out and that is it for the night for Grace.

We spend our evenings eating and cleaning up dinner, skyping with people, watching tv, on our computers, or running errands. Alot of the household repairs can only take place at night, so Ian has spent alot of our evenings running here and  there to pick up the repairmen and bring them to our house. This week's big repair: fixing the small electrical fire damage that we had in our kitchen last week. No biggie.

I said our days or full to the brim, and this may sound like a pretty relaxed schedule, but this only happens in complete days like this 2-3 times a week. The other 4-5 days are spent going on play dates, doctor appointments, Ian driving all over  the country working on visas or going to meetings, and exploring our new city.

I know that all of this will look completely different in 2-4 weeks, when Sophia joins us, but for now, I am savoring these sweet, simple days filled with family time. We aren't sure how long Ian will be working from home this much but we love every minute of it and cherish our time together.

I am feeling pretty good. I still have alot of pain in my hips but I have learned to cope with it and have figured out some things to help me sleep better and avoid the beast known as insomnia. I see my new doctor (my old one just moved back to the States last week,) in a week or so, and look forward to hearing if baby girl is making any progress. Ian's mom comes for an extended visit at the end of September and we are all over the moon excited to see her (her first time meeting Grace AND she'll hopefully be here for Sophia's birth!)

35 weeks, and all is well.

*Edit* Can I just say, after I wrote this, it kept coming to my mind how blessed and fortunate we are to be able to spend our days as a family. So many of you have husbands who aren't able to work from home or be around for chore time or even bed time routines. I hope you know I don't take it for granted and that we are so thankful for this part of our life. The life we are called to, being so far away from friends and family, in a land where we are the foreigners, presents many challenges, but by far the biggest blessing is our time together as a family.


Rachel and John said...

It sounds lovely! I'm glad you are napping with Grace. I often nap when Henry is napping. I feel a little guilty because there are so many chores I should be doing...but I know once I have 2 kids, I won't get to nap. So I'm indulging!

Emily Powell said...

Georgia has had two stages like that...I'm not sure if she's awake or asleep. I usually will go in and check on her at 8:45 and she's already awake...I wish she was in that stage now :/

Tami said...

I loved reading about your day! It's so nice that Ian has been able to be there so much of the time. I agree that it makes being so far from home a little bit easier!