I haven't taken any photos or written anything down for this pregnancy yet, and since I'm 18 weeks now, I figured it's time! I also feel like I'm finally starting to show this week, instead of just some extra soft belly fat ;) I felt the baby move for the first time last week, and have been feeling more and more movements throughout each day. The older kids, especially Nathan, have started touching and kissing the baby (aka my tummy) lately and that is just about the funniest and cutest thing ever. We scheduled the big ultrasound this Friday, where we will get to find out the gender of this baby so it's all starting to feel very real!
If I'm being honest, this has been both the easiest and the hardest pregnancy I've had. Hard in the sense that I was so so sick for 8+ weeks in the beginning and couldn't function like the normal me. Easy in the sense that I feel very content and at ease about this pregnancy and all the rapid changes it is doing to my body. Sounds silly, but in the past 3 pregnancies, I'd always get super insecure and hate the way my chubby face and body looked. It was hard for me to completely let go and embrace the weight and water I was gaining, and I felt stupid and guilty for hating it and caring about it so much. But now, me being older and this being our last baby, I can finally say it doesn't bother me anymore. Knowing this is my last time to be pregnant makes me want to do everything to remember and savor the days this baby is in my body (because really, these days when they're still inside are the easy ones, right?! haha!)
21 more weeks to go! :) :)
We always joke around and tell other people that we are able to (and dare to) have more kids because Zoey is our first child. I think there is definitely some truth to that. There is something about Zoey...so easygoing, stable, articulate, observant, understanding, and she enjoys and appreciates everything you introduce her to/engage her with. She still loves drawing, crafting and everything art-related. The art station is always her first choice during choice time at school. She is reading more and more on her own now, and we were told that she's a natural leader at school!! Just like her mama when she was little, I guess :P
I am really excited for year 6 with Zoey and can't wait to see what God has in store for her. It's an honor to be her mom and to watch her learn and grow and be alongside her on this journey. I really feel like life with her just gets better and better. I am so thankful for her everyday - for her soft and loving heart, for her passion to learn new things, for her easy-to-please appetite, for her fun and adventurous spirit, for her maturity and compassion, and for the big little person she's growing into. Keep shining, babygirl! Love you so so much.
Several weeks ago, I was chatting with a high school friend (who's a first-time mama and is super amazing) about not knowing what to do with our still-breastfeeding toddlers. Both of our kids were well over a year old. Hers would still wake up to feed in the middle of the night and mine would ask me to feed her during the day for comfort. Now, even though I've breastfed all 3 of my kids and feel confident about doing it, when it comes to weaning, I am pretty clueless. Zoey and Nathan both woke up one day and decided they didn't want to suck on my boobs anymore. It was totally sudden and I didn't have to do anything.
While I respect and think it's totally great that some kids breastfeed until they're 2 or older, I knew I didn't want that for me and Izzy. But I just thought and thought about weaning for months and never had the determination to really end it. I'd give in every time she asked me to feed her because usually that was the easiest way out. So at the end of our conversation, I could only tell my friend (and myself, too) to relax and take it easy because this is just a phase, like many other things with little ones. Sometimes things get exhausting and difficult but eventually you'll get pass it and before you know it, you're in a different phase with your kids. It was the best advice I could come up with for her, and really, I think I needed it then too.
In the past several weeks, I began to see more and more just how well Izzy was doing on her own. I could tell that at 18 months, she was ready to move on and learn how to be okay with feeling tired, frustrated, or sad on her own and not come running for my breasts for comfort. Physically, I was very ready to do the toddler phase without the breastfeeding, too.
Two weeks ago, when Gary and I went on a spontaneous overnight date alone, I decided it was time. Izzy is always great with Gary's mom, so that really put me at ease that first night. The first week afterwards was rough, having to say no to her 3-4 times a day. But she took it really well, praise the Lord. No crying, not too much whining at all. Gary has been putting Izzy to bed at night everyday since, and so far, things have been going great. She actually sleeps better at night now because she's not expecting to be breastfed at some point (I wish I could sleep so soundly for 12.5 hours straight like her, too!)
Aaaaaand so, just like that! We are in a whole new phase with Izzy now. I can't believe it sometimes. It's liberating in many ways, and I'm totally cherishing these days when I don't have to lift up my shirt and expose my boobs for anybody. Until July, that is!
We are almost the 3rd week into January, and Izzy's face right here, ^^^, is still how I feel sometimes about it being another new year already. I know, I'm seriously so slow and behind because c'mon, it's 1/17 today! But the truth is, I never feel truly ready to think about the new year and all that "starting fresh" stuff (aka resolutions) during/right after the holidays. The end of 2015 till now has been especially difficult for me because physically, I've been so weak and sick (yay, baby #4!) and that every single day is literally a huge challenge to get through. But as I enter week 15 in pregnancy, I now catch myself being able to feel normal and not sick for a few hours in a day (despite those hours being unpredictable.) It makes me hopeful about the new year, and so here I am. This poor, poor blog. No, I didn't forget about it. And I really didn't have any excuse for why or how life would just take over at some point every year that I stopped writing and taking pictures altogether.
I want to be different this year. I want to be less "perfectionism" about blogging and everything else that I want to do. I want to live out my life by doing more, by acting on my ideas and thoughts instead of thinking about them. I want to be positive and confident. I'm not going to talk myself down like I always do. And I want to be consistent person, which has always been a huge struggle. Kids and family-wise, my goal really hasn't changed all that much. I want to continually try my best to be present with my kids. It doesn't matter where we are, what we do, or what vacations we go on, but it's being there and engaging with them in the moments we have together -that's what matters. Husband-wise, lots of dates in 2016! Haha, this is my favorite one. It might cost a damage in our bank account, but quality time to connect and just be with my husband is so priceless and definitely worth everything.
In the midst of the hectic holiday season and new years, we also celebrated Zoey's and Nathan's birthdays. They are 4 and 6 this year - can you believe it??! It's definitely hard for me to wrap my mind around it. Time is flying by and they are growing up so fast, it's crazy. Even though I stay home with them, I still fear I'm not cherishing my time with them enough and will miss out on something along the way. I think it's from those old ladies at grocery stores. You know how they always go "treasure this time" to young moms that obviously have their hands full while shopping for food? Hehe. One of the things Gary and I love to do is laying in bed and looking through our old instagram pictures together. It's fun to reminisce and look back on the days and weeks and years we've spent together - all those good and bad, big and small moments. It makes my heart warm and excited thinking about this new year, especially. For all the things we are going to experience and get through as a family, and all the memories we are going to make, good and bad, big and small.