Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Good Life

I took these pictures before Easter. They were all on my camera from a few of our adventures as spring was arriving in central Texas. The funny thing is as I look through these pictures things just look calm and happy. Almost slow moving. Things are happy, and when we are at Showpa and Gigi's house they can also be calm and slow moving. But this last week, our lives have felt like everything is happening at once.

Well, first being 18 weeks pregnant and still nursing Rosemary, my milk supply has dipped very low (due to hormones). So, I had made the decision after a couple of long nights trying to nurse and feeling agitated that I would work on getting Rosemary back to sleep in other ways. She has always been a pretty good sleeper, but teething and other things have started to have her wake more occasionally. The reality of another baby on the way has sort of started to sink in. Although I am excited, I know this means Rosemary is getting closer to not being the baby anymore. Also, cutting out some of the comfort nursing at night while we co sleep could be the start of her weaning. It is really. Well, all of that said, once I began down this road both Rosemary and I got horrible colds and coughs... and she got pink eye in both eyes.

And since I am pregnant, of course that means we are also moving. Because the Nycums apparently like to "nest" really big. By moving every time I am having a baby. Actually, it just always happens this way. Because we are renting and because we like babies it has to fall on the same time at some point during the pregnancy. I actually like moving. I like to organize and ask, "What is this? Why do we have it?" about pretty much everything in our house. It really helps limit the amount of things we haul from place to place. It does take a lot of time though. And now Blanche also asks two or three of her own questions about each object in our house as we pack.

We have found a small duplex with a small yard in south Austin. Maybe one we move in I will do a blog post on how it is possible to have a family of 5 in 900 square feet. I'm sure a lot of the world would laugh at that post, but most Americans do seem to require much more space. I would often like more space, but I have come to realize a few things. First, a lot of what we are paying for is location. Our new place is six miles from Zilker Park and downtown Austin, not to mention being super close to a dozen other parks with hiking and creeks. We are also a lot closer to Andrew's work. His commute will go from an hour each way, to about twenty minutes. This is the main reason for moving south. Second, I am always desiring to simplify my life. And really, less stuff to mess with and less stuff to clean... well that simplifies things a lot. I am excited (and a bit nervous) for the challenge of continuing to grow as a family, but not really adding anymore space at the current time.

Moving is a fun adventure while we wait until we know more about what store Andrew will work at more long term, and while we save to be able to buy. One day I might be pregnant and we might not move. I'm sure it will be relaxing and confusing for me. One day I will also not be night weaning or even nursing a baby. One day I won't have a baby in diapers. One day life will just be different. I have been telling myself this a lot lately. Not because I want to wish anything away, but more to reassure myself that the exhaustion of pregnancy while nursing and co sleeping with small children won't last forever. I just have to cherish what I have now. I am reading a book by midwife Ina May. And something I am learning through women with powerful birth stories, is that the mind and the body are truly connected. My thoughts and my attitude does affect my body. Which affects my energy level and happiness. There is a reason that God has told us to be thankful.

Just like when moving, it can be easy to look at the good or the bad. I can focus on the cons or I can look at all the pros. I am growing up enough to know that Andrew can't work in the city and our family have a simple country life all at once. Like Andrew's mom told me over a year ago, different is just different, it's not bad. Sounds simple, but it has been something I have had to let myself see. The girls are getting amazing experiences in a city life. They go to farmer's markets and pet chicks and baby goats. Blanche has started trying to identify plants on our hikes. The girls love the outdoors and could care less if they are playing on the sidewalks in an apartment complex. Andrew works for a company that stands for and supports not only organic foods, but the preservation of nature and the care of a better world. We may not have chickens and collect our own eggs, or even a huge back yard. But we have trails and great parks and organic produce brought home almost every day. I live a very good life. It is freeing to accept what I have with gratitude and look forward with hope for a promising future. Life is busy. But it might not always be. Everything is a season. And when I look past the mess of my own home, I can see really clearly how life may not get much better than this. I am making and growing these beautiful babies with the love of my life. He has a job he loves. He gets to love people while leading them. I get to pour out myself in love each day for the children I am raising. The friends I have made in Austin are kind and generous and so supportive of this crazy thing called motherhood. I have loving family and some of the best in laws a person could ask for. The list could go on and on. But the truth is that there isn't just chaos and hard work in this life, there is a lot of happiness.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Going to Corpus for Easter

I use to love traveling. Andrew use to backpack and camp. We use to be wanderers. And I am sure some would still call us that. We are still renting and are going to move for our third time, since we came to Austin, coming this summer. We are still the type to not having everything planned out perfectly. But sometimes I really miss a more adventurous lifestyle. Sure we have plenty of adventures, but we are always home with the kids in bed by close to nine. I know it is the stage of life we are in. It is good for the kids to be home and in bed by nine. They melt down otherwise. But I also think Andrew and I are realizing you just having to start writing things on the calendar and taking days off and saying, "This is what we are going to do!" Because no matter what life happens.

We decided in the last month that we wanted to see Andrew's family in Corpus Christi and my own family in Missouri before I was in my third trimester with this baby. Andrew has help in his leadership now, and we can finally plan a few trips ahead of time. I told Andrew one night when we were lying in bed that I just had to mentally prepare myself for a few meltdowns while traveling. Because meltdowns happen at home. So why wouldn't they happen on the road? Probably the all time high of our trip down was how everything was going so well until it wasn't anymore. Right after dinner we found ourselves cleaning bright red slushy off the van floor while I changed Rosemary's poopy diaper on the parking lot (yes I said parking lot) ground. It all happened so fast. Blanche spilled the slushy... there was no changing table and I opened what I thought was a wet diaper in the front seat of the van... well then there was slushy and bags and Andrew was trying to clean it... and I had an open poopy diaper. So on the ground she went. I looked for glass and bugs. Hopefully no one else saw me.

Life happens. It can be nuts but we made it. Actually the thing I hate the most is the late and tired crying by Rosemary in the car. I just don't know how to help her... which frustrates me and is probably the main reason I wouldn't do long car trips too often. And then of course after she did sleep... for two hours and then was up until after midnight once we got there. I think after the fact, those were probably the hardest things about the entire three day weekend. Which is really pretty good. Oh yeah, and Rosemary got carsick on the way home... but ANYWAYS, lets talk about vacation and the fun things.

It was so refreshing to be doing something different for a few days. Andrew's sister has such a nice home and was so kind to let us stay with her. I know it was tiring for all of us at some point,  but I am sure it was more so for her, being the hostess. Mainly because when you put our kids together we have a 4, 3, 2, and 1 year old. Everything is an adventure. Just a couple of posts back I posted pictures of the girls with their cousins, and talked about how fun it is to see them together. This trip was just an extension of that. It is fun to see the kids growing up and starting to play together.

By the end Jonathan and Blanche were playing really well together. Blanche didn't want to go and Jonathan didn't want her to leave either. There were lots of cute moments during our time. Like when Blanche told me, "Caroline said okay to me. She can talk now!" Or watching Rosemary follow Caroline all over the house. All four of them were even playing together alone in the playroom at times. We went to the beach, out to eat, to the aquarium, to Mass, and had an Easter egg hunt. Normally during each outing someone had a meltdown, but that can be expected. Overall it was a fun time. Some of my favorite relaxing moments were the breakfast tacos delivered to me each morning by Ozzie, and the ice cream delivered every night by Andrew. A pregnant lady's dream really. I hoped to have a better sunny day at the beach, but with small children I think we did what was long enough for them anyway. I also talked a bit and shared pictures of Blanche and I walking to buy her a new dress one night along the beach on Instagram. She had gotten hers wet before dinner (the restaurant was beside the ocean) and the two of us missed dinner walking to a tourist shop. It is fun to make memories even now with my children on vacation.

I never mean to "not be in pictures." I just really enjoy taking them. But I do love the last one I captured with my phone after Blanche's and my adventure along the beach. I also love that no one wanted to smile on Easter. It cracks me up. They were all happy that day, just not for the camera. Hopefully this trip was the first step for the Nycum family in being more bold in traveling. Or maybe I can look back at cute pictures and remember that it was worth the chaos of getting there.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Rosemary at 14 Months

I just love these pictures of Rosemary. This was a few weeks ago. We had both woken up from a long nap on one of Andrew's day's off. I am thankful for naps together with her when we get to take them. Sometimes it would be nice to be napping alone, but I honestly get such little nap/nurse/mid day cuddle time with her compared to what I did when Blanche was a baby, I just enjoy it.

I haven't been writing much lately. The pictures I have managed to take are all still on my camera, and these cute pictures have been sitting here waiting for me to post. I have went from tired and nauseous to pelvic pain early on for me... which is only 14 weeks pregnant. I haven't had a lot of time, but I am still so thankful for my girls. I know I don't write as exclusively about Rosemary like I did with Blanche, but she was an only child at that time, and now these girls are sisters with another sibling coming.

I am currently sitting down to post these as we are about to leave for Corpus in the next hour. I need to just write and post something... and then run the vacuum... because like I told Blanche, we don't want bugs to come and eat the food on the floor while we are gone on vacation.

Rosemary is 14 months, but Andrew and I feel like she's been acting about 18 months since her first birthday. She loves to dress up and tries to pretend with Blanche. I personally think Rosemary plays beyond her age, but I know its from watching Blanche. Rosemary is pretty laid back and loving to eat more and more. We just shared some Ben and Jerry's and I don't think she would have been the one to stop. She says, "Mmmm and mooorre." She is getting a sweet tooth and I feel like not near as good of a mother with my always saying yes to giving her what Blanche is eating. Its a good life being a second child.

Rosemary is also throwing fits. Throwing her whole body down. Screaming for things. Most of the time I am too busy or tired to notice too much. Or if I do notice it is actually kind of cute compared to Blanche's meltdowns. I am hoping this means by the time Rosemary is three... she just won't even bother with meltdowns (I can dream right?)

Rosemary loves doggies and can say doggie really well. She was calling everything doggie for awhile. But now is saying duckie and birdie. She says mama and dada. "Baa" for Blanche. She says Gigi and "Maa" for milk. She signs, "More, milk, eat, potty, play..." but overall I think she won't be as  big of a signer as Blanche was. She already yells, "nana" for banana every morning. And yes she can says Nana for my own mother as well.

I feel like Rosemary is progressing right along. I sometimes wish I could give her more one on one attention. But I am thankful for co sleeping and nursing with her. I do enjoy the tendcy for her to be more laid back and self suffecnt. She does however really  get upset if she is not getting her way. But she gets over it pretty fast. She tries to hit and bite more than I remember Blanche doing. But I also think Rosemary has more to be mad about sometimes. You know, Blanche trying to put her in a princess dress when she is tired...

Well this was a fast and hurried post, but soon enough I will have more pictures of our beautiful spring and updates on how we are all doing. For now, I am excited to actually be leaving town for a few days. Andrew is getting to a point in his job now where it looks like we will be able to take trips more often. Happy Easter Weekend!