For anyone who has more than one child, you know the experience of coming home after having the new baby to find that the next youngest child miraculously experienced a growth spurt…overnight!  We have had this experience three times now, and our newest addition proved no exception.

I came home Easter Sunday with our newest bundle of joy only to find that my 2-year-old baby didn’t look so baby anymore.  He had grown.  He was bigger. Compared to the tiny-tot in my arms, Alexander looked humongous!

It’s the coolest phenomenon.  I don’t think it will ever get old.

This is one of the topics I’ve had on the back burner for sometime now.

Very quickly after our second child was born, I became quite aware of some glaring holes in my training up of our oldest.  It is much harder to overlook disobedience when you have a newborn needing to be fed, changed, rocked, etc.  The needs of that newborn often need to take precedent over other things in the household, and a disobedient 18 month old goes from being something you can overlook to a major issue.  The two biggest areas were in getting her to take a nap without a fuss, and immediate, first-time obedience, without exception.

With the expectation of this new newborn, I am once again seeing the need to sure-up some areas of training with Alexander.  Don’t get me wrong, I wish I didn’t have these parenting gaps.  I wish I dealt consistently with all aspects of training him up, each and every day..but the reality is that I am not consistent, and looking ahead to having a new baby in the house makes that all the more evident.

So, I’ve instituted ‘Bubba boot camp,’ ‘Bubba’ being a nickname he somehow acquired.  I need to whip this boy into shape (figuratively speaking) before the baby arrives, for my own sanity, as well as for his own good.  It’s amazing how quickly I can get fatigued due to the constant nature of training and discipline my children.  The daily battles over the same sin issues can wear me down, and make me want to hide under a blanket.

Even as I type this, I have him sitting next to me, playing with a pillow, and refusing to put it down as I have told him to.  In the short-term, it is so much easier to a) ignore the disobedience, b) get louder until I scare him into obeying c) throw the pillow myself so he cannot play with it.  All of these options, however, will fail produce the fruit of righteousness that I desire to see in his life.  Each fails to image God’s standard of obedience and the consequences of disobedience.  And each will cause me more grief in three-weeks when I am instructing him to do the same thing, but with a newborn in my arms.  My diligence now, overcoming my laziness now, will reap the blessing of an obedient child later.

So to my Bubba – prepare for boot camp!  Mama is crackin’ down on you buster!  My lack of training needs correcting, and time is running short.

I’ve been delinquent lately with posting.  I have a backlog of topics, but just haven’t had the diligence to set aside the time to write.  I’ll start with a brief update, for those who actually read my blog.

We’re T-4 weeks away from meeting baby #4.  The nesting instinct has kicked in and organizing has been my theme lately.  We are taking an Ikea trip tonight to find a dresser, so that this baby has a place for his/her clothes, which I still need to fish out of the garage.

We have our girls in a bunk bed now, and Alexander in his own big boy bed – passed down from his big sister.  They are all in one room, freeing up space for the baby in our bedroom.  We are ‘cozy.’  I am hopeful that a house with at least 3-bedrooms is in our near future.  Gotta love NY housing costs.

Our ‘big boy’ is now 2.  He had his birthday yesterday.  I turned 30 in March, which my husband is loving, while he remains 29 for another month.  Then he will be old as well.

Our homeschooling has been a bit in consistent lately as well, with trying to get everything done while I still have the energy to be upright.  With the girls being 3 & 5, I keep reminding myself that missing a lesson here and there will not doom them into mediocrity for life.

As the aches and pain and tiredness hit, chasing after three children and carrying one, I am constantly reminded that I am indeed human.  Thankfully, my God never grows weary and never slumbers.

The other night I had my first midwife appointment for the new baby.  The first appointment is always loads of fun, with a million and one question, recounting medical history and all that fun stuff.  One of the standard questions is, ‘was this pregnancy planned?’  I’m not exactly sure why, but this question bugs me.  I think I understand the intent behind this question, but it seems like an unimportant and unnecessary question nonetheless.

Or course the pregnancy was planned.  It was planned by God before the foundation of the world. But, I’m fairly certain she was not looking for a theology lesson, so I didn’t give this answer.

Does it really matter whether it was planned or not?  Regardless of intent, hope or desire, this child is here.  Does planned or unplanned really matter?

From a medical standpoint, part of her job is to ensure the mental health of her patients.  If this was a unplanned pregnancy, it could possibly be unwelcome at this time, and cause an inner struggle. I get that.

At the core of her phrasing is the idea that we have ultimate control over our reproduction.  That, at will, we can choose to get pregnant or chose to prevent pregnancy.  In reality it is the Lord who opens and closes the womb, not us.

At the core of this question is also the assumption that people are actively ‘trying’ to get pregnant, or are intentionally preventing pregnancy.  Why is the assumption one or the other?  Aren’t there folks who simply enjoy the marital bed and allow God to give or not give children?

Maybe the better question is, ‘was this an expected pregnancy.’

So life has gotten a bit more hectic in our household.  School is back in session which means I am up at my old high school 5-6 days a week coaching soccer.  I coached last year and had a blast.  I was looking forward to this season, but that excitement has quickly diminished.

Maybe it’s the added drama of disgruntled parents that I didn’t experience last year. Maybe it’s the way the varsity coach and I did NOT hit it off on the right foot.  Maybe it’s the added driving time, since we live farther that last year, which means added time away from my family.  Or the fact that we have someone watching our kids 5 days a week now, instead of just 2 like last year.  Or maybe it’s the mild, but constant pregnancy induced nausea I experience from the moment I open my eyes in the moment until the moment they close, at 8-8:30 each night.  The paycheck is a big help, but I’ve been wondering if it’s worth the tradeoff.

Whatever the reason of my discontent, I’ve become a whiner.  I woke up this past Monday thinking about the phone calls that likely await my return (from unhappy parents of kids that were cut) or some drama that may occur with the other coach, the hectic afternoon of packing up the kids to get them to the babysitter, etc, all these thoughts within 10 seconds of consciousness.

And as quickly as these thoughts came, I shut them down.  My thoughts switched to my husband who wakes up every day long before me and is on his way to work before the sun even rises. He works as many as 80 hours a week, then comes home and helps with the kids.  Instead of spending his one day off each week (which is often really a half-a-day, since he sometimes works at night) sleeping and lounging around the house, he is up with the kids, cooking breakfast and playing with them.  He does all of this without complaining,  but willingly, even joyfully.  So I told myself, ‘self, suck it up!’  And besides, my unhappiness ends in a short 7 weeks…the countdown has begun.

We’ve all heard the stories of a pregnant woman cravings some bizarre foods and food combinations.  I’ve had three pregnancies and have yet to experience said cravings  (as much as I’d like to blame the babies – and I have – my desire for chocolate ice cream, brownies and such had nothing to do with being pregnant).  However, I’m beginning to wonder, is there any credible ‘post pregnancy, post breast-feeding’ cravings?

I have never been a coffee drinker.  A friend in college introduced me to Mocha’s during a late night study session, but with that exception on rare occasions, coffee has never been my thing.  Yet since weaning my youngest about a month ago, I’ve had a bizarre craving for coffee.  I think I’ve had coffee more times in this past month that in the past 10 years…strange.