Change Is A Comin’

I’m sitting here a week out from my due date and feeling both very excited, a little nervous, and mostly just tired of waiting. I remember from my previous two children that the last month of pregnancy feels like a year. But it doesn’t make the waiting any easier.

Things have gotten very uncomfortable for me. Simon and Elias have gotten fed up as well since my belly is so swollen. They have a hard time hugging me and I pretty much have no lap for them to enjoy.

Change is a comin’ for us. I know it is a good change, but I feel like I look at Simon with pity every time I see him. I predict he will be quite jealous. He is a willful fireball of a child, but he is so sensitive. I love him so much and I dread having to see him upset. Of course, he almost always follows Elias’ lead, and I think Elias is going to be our strong one this time around.

I’m not really saying anything new in this post. Mostly I’m just procrastinating. I’ve got a lot to do to be ready for this baby. We haven’t packed for the hospital or set up the bassinet. And there is a lot of other stuff that would be really nice to get done…like going to the post office or paying bills so I don’t have to worry about those after baby comes.

Or…maybe I could go drink a glass of water and read a good book and try to take my mind off my aching body. We’ll probably be fine either way.

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Happy Halloween 2015!

On Halloween we had almost the entire day free. We were so happy to finally have some down time as a family. We played a lot of games together and got in some rest and relaxation before it was time to head out for trick-or-treating.

Unfortunately, it was raining during prime trick-or-treating time for young children. But hey…it’s Oregon. What do we expect? We got the boys as bundled as possible and were ready to head out just after sundown.

20151031_175736The boys were both a bit nervous at first…especially at houses where they could hear dogs barking inside. They got the hang of it pretty fast, though, and were very excited.

20151031_181451Unfortunately, they were quickly soaked despite the umbrellas and rain coats. Elias kept saying, “My shoes are juicy!” Simon’s bucket actually had a big puddle in the bottom, causing us to need to toss a lot of the candy that had been sitting in said puddle.

Ama and Baba also met us in the neighborhood so that they could see the boys in action. That rejuvenated them a bit even though they were freezing.

In total we lasted about an hour trick-or-treating. They boys each claimed their buckets were full and it was time to go home. We were fine with that. We got them home, changed and dry, and then let them examine their stashes.

20151031_191058 20151031_191314Simon was mostly concerned with eating some candy, and didn’t want to stop to pose for a picture.

As is Smith family tradition, we also celebrated “All Hallows Read,” a holiday we picked up from author Neil Gaiman, who advocates giving books to kids at any possible opportunity. Each year we get the boys a fall/Halloween book on Halloween. They were excited at any excuse to open gifts.

20151031_19341620151031_193506Daddy read to them a bit, then we went upstairs to get ready for bed and finish reading the new books.

20151031_193840All in all it was a fun day!

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Pre-K Projects and Happiness

20151031_111058We had our first family homework project sent home from school over the weekend. We had to decorate a turkey feather to be hung on a turkey in the classroom. We could have chosen anything we wanted. Cereal. Glitter. Noodles. Cotton balls. Elias said he wanted to decorate it with stickers. I was fine with that, but didn’t want just a bunch of car or dinosaur stickers on there that didn’t really mean anything. So I made it into a bit more of a family project about thankfulness. Elias and Simon placed leaf and pumpkin stickers all over our feather, and on each one we wrote something we are thankful for. Each person in the family has at least a couple of things represented.

20151031_112845I was happy with all of the things that Elias said he was thankful for. But some I was especially pleased by. “The New Baby” for instance. I’m really glad we did it this way because it opened up some good discussions for us. When I first started talking about thankfulness, Elias said, “At Sunday school I always just say I’m thankful for Mommy and Daddy and Simon.” He wanted to end at that for this feather too. I told him that was great, but there are so many more things to be thankful for. He really opened up and included things like “clothes”, “school” , “Ama and Baba”, “my cousins”, “God and Jesus” and “friends” and “art” and more. Can you guess who put “coffee” and “baseball?”

Elias was very proud of his project and wanted to look at it for a long time. We read all of the stickers together many times and he carried it around the house until I made him put it up to keep it safe.

20151031_112737This morning he was very concerned that I would forget to bring it to school. I had him put it in his school bag, and he held on to that thing like his life depended on it. When we arrived at school he proudly presented it to his teacher. I missed the moment he handed it over, but he was just so happy to be there I decided to snap a picture of him starting out his day at his table instead.

20151102_081842His head is turned toward his teacher, but you can still tell he has a huge grin on his face. We are lucky to have found a place where he is so happy to go each morning.

Simon also wants to go to school. Here is what he looks like every morning when I force him to walk back to the car with me.

20151102_081943Simon will get his chance next September!


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Halloween Fun 2015!

We’ve been having a few free evenings this week, both expected and unexpected. We’ve used the time after dinner to have some good ol’ family Halloween fun.

Elias has been very excited to carve pumpkins and has been asking about it over and over. Last night we got out our pumpkins and our supplies and got to work. Just as Elias started to spoon out the innards I was about to explain to him about what he was doing. It turns out that was unnecessary because before I could get any words out, he told me, “I’m taking out the meat and the seeds.”

Well then…I guess he pays attention in school! His teacher had carved a small pumpkin with his class only a few days before.

Both of the boys were very excited to carve their own pumpkin.

20151028_180334 20151028_180412Each of the boys also designed their pumpkin. They both wanted traditional jack-o-lanterns and drew the shapes they wanted for eyes, nose, and mouth. Mommy and Daddy wielded the knives, and the boys ended up with creations that they were very proud of.

20151028_183407 20151028_183429They look great!

20151028_183731Then this evening we got to bake and decorate some Halloween cookies. They mixed ingredients.

P1230799They cut out some Halloween shapes.

P1230801They baked the cookies, and then frosted and decorated them.

20151029_194103Finally, they enjoyed the sweet goodness! Here are their creations.


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Nursery Decor #3

20151025_202722I’ve got another craft accomplishment to hang on our nursery wall under my belt. Tonight’s project actually took me two evenings, and was the one I was most nervous about.

I knew I wanted to use the Bible paraphrase from psalm 93:4. Mightier than the waves of the sea is His love for you. It fit perfectly with my nursery theme, and holds one of the biggest lessons/messages I want baby #3 to learn from a young age.

I couldn’t find anything I really liked, though, as an idea or inspiration besides the paraphrase itself. I thought of trying to paint waves or do something more complicated, but in the end decided simplicity was better. I didn’t know what to do….so…I just tried something.

I bought yet another canvas with lots of coupons at JoAnns, and stuck with my same paint colors as the other projects. I painted the background, checked out some online tutorials on splatter painting, and got going.

Then tonight I added the words over the top. I don’t know what I was so worried about. It turned out just fine! I’ll be proud to hang it in our nursery whenever we get around to actually hanging all of this stuff. (Hopefully soon….we have less than five weeks now until the due date!)

It feels good to be making stuff for the baby. Creativity feeds my soul. It’s why I love playing music so much as well. But I still think the nesting instinct is playing a part as well. I have two more projects up my sleeve, but then I’m done. I’m running out of time and wall space!

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Simon’s Big Boy Room

Last night the boys got to sleep over at Ama and Baba’s house in order to “practice” for the baby’s arrival, and to get them out of our hair so we could get some things done.

On the agenda: Paint the nursery, swap the furniture between Simon’s and the baby’s rooms, clean out and set up Simon’s big boy room.

After we dropped the boys off, we got to work taping. Then Nathan painted while I cleaned out Simon’s room and prepped it for the big swap. After that was done we got to relax and watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows without having the volume turned down!

It was a great night of sleep. No one came in my room in the middle of the night and tried to sleep with us. When I woke up in the morning and asked Nathan what time it was, I was shocked to find out that it was 8:40 a.m. I haven’t gotten to sleep in that long in…well…I can’t remember. And let’s face it. That won’t be happening again any time soon. We went to breakfast at biscuits cafe, and then came home to finish our work setting up Simon’s big boy room.

It turned out really well! Here is the view from the doorway:

20151024_121524View from the window. The boat bed is going on a jungle cruise:

20151024_121556And the view from the bookshelf corner:

20151024_121614The best part was that we didn’t have to buy any furniture. We just used and rearranged what we already had to make it work for us. I can’t believe Simon is in a big boy room! No nursery for him anymore!

After setting up a few things in the nursery, and patching up some paint in Elias and Simon’s rooms, we went to pick up the boys who had a blast. We found out that they both slept really well for Ama and Baba! I’m glad (and a bit jealous).

When Simon got home he was very excited about his new room. He asked me to take a picture of him on his big boy bed. He’s testing it out for the first time now during nap time.

20151024_140008Another success for the Smith’s!

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Bulk Titan Smith

We’ve got a biggun’.

We’ve known that baby #3 is on the larger side for months now. It’s not surprising considering Simon was born at 9 pounds, 15 ounces. Also, my family has a history of larger babies (my dad and brothers).

I, however, was born at a petite 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and Nathan wasn’t too large as babies go either so you’d think we’d have a chance of producing a more average sized child.

Since we don’t reveal names until after our children are born, my brothers have always come up with nicknames for them. Elias was “Little Jeb.” Simon was “Bruce.” Back in August when Nathan went fishing with my brother, they saw a boat named “Bulk Titan.” Since we knew this baby was on the larger side, they christened baby #3 “Bulk Titan.” I always half smile and fake a laugh. It’s not like I actually ever think of the babies as these names. It’s just a fun piece of family lore.

But Bulk Titan may be more fitting than I’d like to admit….especially since having a larger baby definitely disrupts my plans to have a VBAC instead of yet another csection.

Today Nathan and I were lucky enough to be able to see our baby again at a growth ultrasound. We’re trying to gather data to see what the best and safest method of delivery will be for all involved. Look at this face:

20151021_085933I can’t wait to kiss those chubby cheeks in person.

So…baby #3 is currently weighing in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces (their best guess). That is more than I was when I was born! They are projecting 9 to 9 and a half pounds at 39 weeks…meaning….he’s projected to be my largest baby yet.

Most of me is just so thankful that he is healthy and that we’ll see him soon. (I’m almost 35 weeks) But the side of me that sat in the hospital bed crying after Simon’s c section saying that I’d never do it again wants to scream at the frustration of the situation. I feel stuck. Not wanting to have major surgery, yet not really believing it will work any other way.

We’ve got a lot of discussions with the doctor ahead of us so no decisions will be made for awhile yet. And…you never know. Maybe baby #3 will be more cooperative and will spontaneously decide to come at 38 weeks or something. I just have a lot of feelings right now…like any pregnant lady.

Enough whining, though. We are so lucky, and it was super fun showing Elias the pictures from the ultrasound. He claimed he couldn’t really see the baby because “his eyes are closed.” Elias also exclaimed, “I can’t wait to see him!”

These are special times.

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Nursery Decor #2

I had another crafty night this evening after I got home from Bible study. As I said before, I have a few projects that I’d like to try in order to decorate baby #3’s nursery. I’m going with a nautical theme.

When I looked around on pinterest and other such websites looking for ideas, I found about fifteen versions of the project I tried tonight. I thought it was super cute and decided I just had to try it for myself.

Again, all I needed were three blank canvases, a pencil, and some paint. It was super simple!

20151018_230710After looking at multiple versions of this project, I drew the whale free hand with a pencil. I was not confident, but I’m happy with the way it turned out. The splash actually took me a lot longer. I went through about four different versions and had input from Nathan to make it recognizable as a “splash” yet in the same friendly style as the whale.

After I had everything outlined in pencil, all I had to do was carefully paint around it in my desired colors. Voila! Another one in the books!

I think I’ll call nursery project #2 another success! I can’t wait to see what it all looks like on the wall this weekend!

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Pumpkin Patch 2015

Because of all of Nathan’s traveling and some other family activities, we are pretty much solidly booked until the last couple of weekends before the baby comes. So…when I realized that we had a free Saturday morning I jumped at the chance to take our family to the pumpkin patch. The weather cooperated and the boys were excited so it was a recipe for success.

The boys enjoyed picking out their pumpkins, although I think Simon liked pulling the wagon more (to Nathan’s discontent).

20151017_104242 20151017_104439After choosing pumpkins, the boys really wanted to go on the barrel train ride. We went to buy tokens, and waited in line. When Elias realized, though, that Nathan and I were not going to ride with them, he totally freaked out. He was crying pretty hard and was NOT going to get on the train. Luckily, Simon was still excited to ride and went all by himself. He was so proud!

20151017_110847Then, Simon decided he wanted to go on the “horsey ride.” (pony ride). We’ve been to Plumper pumpkin patch since Elias had just turned one, and I’ve always wanted my kids to do that. I was super excited that one of them suggested it, and we decided to get some tokens for Simon to do it. I thought he might get scared and back out at the last minute, but decided we’d go for it just in case. Seize the day!

As I bought the tokens, Elias had another breakdown because he decided he wanted to do the pony ride as well. I thought for sure he would never actually do it because he is usually afraid of larger animals. However, I bought the tokens anyway to give him the chance.

As it turns out, both of the boys really loved the pony ride. Neither of them were nervous at all. The just had the time of their lives riding around in a circle over and over again.

20151017_114232 20151017_114255So…all’s well that ends well. The boys had a blast at the pumpkin patch despite some tears along the way. We’ve got two great pumpkins to carve some time soon, and the boys have now both ridden a pony for the first time!

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I’ve been thinking for awhile about how I want to decorate baby #3’s nursery. I’ve gone back and forth between colors and themes quite a bit. In the end I was inspired by our toddler bed, which is in the shape of a boat. We bought some nice blue paint and plan to get to painting next weekend. I looked around a bit for nursery decorations, and maybe I’m just cheap, but I couldn’t believe how much people charge for cute nursery wall hangings. I guess they think the hormones will block out the sticker shock and cause you to buy.

I wasn’t having any of that, but I certainly didn’t want blank walls either. So….I searched around pinterest and a few other places for some inspiration and headed to JoAnn Fabrics with a gift card I had received for my birthday. I have a few projects in mind for the nursery, and I completed the first one this evening after the boys were in bed.

I had Nathan get me a table for all of my art supplies, we popped in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and I got to painting. I just needed four blank white canvases, some paint, and few stencils.

The lighting is terrible, and the paint isn’t dry, but you can get the idea here:

20151017_221457I’m actually pretty pleased with how they turned out. I’ll be sure to post a picture of them on the wall after they are dried hung in the nursery!

Not bad for an hour and a half of work. Something like this ran around $50 if I were to purchase it ready made, and I did it for a lot less!

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