Tell Tale Signs

If there is one thing that I remember well with each pregnancy, it is the behavior of the other children the couple of months before the new baby arrives. It's as if they can sense a change coming like a horse who knows a storm is rolling in. The current baby becomes a little more clingy, our bed is full of extra bodies half-way through the night, someone wakes up in the middle of the night for one reason or another, and it is as if they're each on an IV drip of straight sugar, as it is hard to get anyone to just settle down at any point of the day. This is where we are with nine weeks left before our family is transformed from eight to nine. Even when I was pregnant with Jakob, Josie started acting unusual the last month or so before he arrived. I tend to think it's God's way of softening the traumatic experience a little.

I have at this point in my pregnancy (31-32 weeks) gained 28 pounds...14 of those pounds have come in the last month, which according to history is fairly consistant with the last two I guess. If things continue the same, I should anticipate gaining another 3 in the next two months. The baby is approximately 15 inches long and weighs between 3 and 4 pounds and will now gain 1/2 pound a week until birth. She is active and even kicked Tim in the stomach the other day when he gave me a hug.

We're trying to declutter a little before her arrival...all part of our lifestyle makeover that we'll repeat next year again. We've cleared out the office, leaving it with only a desk a piano and a dog crate, and this week it is into Mattie and Ben's room to patch and paint the walls, beds and dresser, rehang the curtains and clean out the clothing a little. We hope to move onto the kitchen, our bedroom and bathroom, mudroom and laundry room before March. We did rearrange in the living room and removed the horribly uncomfortable and ugly purple chairs and replaced them with the huge leather chair. I guess it made more sense to have the comfy chair upstairs since there is no TV downstairs anymore. (It blew up over Christmas break!) I steam cleaned all of the carpets in the house...removed a couple of spots and a lot of dirt. The overall result isn't stellar, but at least i know they're clean for a few days. Carpet is just not a good match with kids, a dog, dirt and food. It's no treat during potty training either (human or canine!)

Benjamin has been singing his heart out lately...he goes back and forth between the chorus of "On Eagle's Wings" and his version of "Deck the Halls"which goes like this: "Take the bells away from Polly"...He is adamant that Mattie should not share a room with him and makes this known by removing all of her clothes from her drawers and closet to the floor, hiding her books and doll, stripping her bed and shutting her out into the hallway. He continues to sneak food from the kitchen. We are going to invest in a new door knob with a keyed lock for the pantry and see what we can find for the refrigerator. The fruit will also be locked in the pantry. I'm thinking a chain and padlock may seem a little excessive for the fridge, but we'll see. Maybe it will deter all of us.

Mathilda is figuring out that she indeed is the odd man out--girl out--when it comes to her brothers. She is reaching the age where she wants to play with the older boys, do what they do, talk about what they talk about, and they don't want to have anything to do with her. To them, she is just a gross girl that gets in their way and is an annoying little tattle-tale. They are really hard on her and she has been making such big efforts to be in their favor. She has been offering to do things for them, asking politely if she can sit next to them, offering to share her snacks with them and the other day, she even checked out a "Star Wars" book from the library in an attempt to connect with Jon. They have noticed, but it is going to take a little effort on their part to return the kindness.

Joe is starting to test...and test and test and test. I'm in denial, as he needs to remain my sweet little Joe for much longer than this! He got a swat on the butt the other day and has even had to retreat to his crib for a period of "time out" for lack of a better description. He is climbing to the tops of everything, has learned to open doors and even how to climb out of his crib, although he hasn't decided that it is easy enough to do consistantly yet. He recognizes that all it takes to get up a little higher is to find something mobile that can offer him a boost. He too is becoming a food thief. He is keen on rocking before bed, and telling Jesus goodnight and I love you. He insists pretty intensely that this is part of his routine. Maybe it will pass in the next two months. Not the bedtime routine, but the mischeviousness.

As I write this, one is in bed and two are supposed to be there, but I hear water running in the tub, so I'm thinking that they're not really in bed. Time to put them there...again.