I’m just a couple days away from my due date (July 15) and so far Baby JoJo is still hanging on. My last day of work was Wednesday and I’ve felt so much more patient and relaxed since my leave started. I think that feeling of trying to tie up loose ends everyday “just in case” and also that disappointment of “I guess I’ve got to go to work tomorrow after all…” was causing more stress than I realized. I’m using this potential week or two before she’s born to visit with friends who came in from out of town (check out #sistermomsonthefarm on Instagram if you’re curious!), hanging out with my sister and her kids who are coming to visit this week, and spending as much time as I can hanging out and playing with Ali and Zay: swimming, going to the park, walking at the mall (it’s too hot to walk outside!), swimming some more… And also making sure the nest is ready for our new little chickie to be welcomed home.
It seemed like my last update was some grumbling about things going wrong… particularly breaking my toe which led to waddling/limping and then some crazy back pain. I’m happy to report that my toe is 95% better. It’s still a little tender, especially if bumped, but I can walk pretty normally. I did 4-5 weeks of physical therapy for my back pain and I’m feeling significantly better than I was a few weeks ago. I’ve got a lot of stretches and exercises to work on, now and after the baby is born. Overall things are going really well. I’m very ready for labor to start and to meet our littlest lady face-to-face, but I’m also feeling patient most of the time. Isaiah was 5 days past his due date so I’m preparing myself for that possibility. Five days past Jo’s due date would fall on Ali’s 5th birthday, July 20. She goes back and forth between wishing for that and wanting to keep her birthday her own. She’s been hoping and praying for a baby sister for a long time so either way Josephine’s arrival will be a gift to Ali, as well as to the rest of us.
Here’s how Jason nests: He’s working his butt off with two careers (realtor and touring musician), and he then does gigantic landscaping projects (like building a retaining wall) as a way to decompress after a stressful day. Not to mention he’s also picking up a lot of my slack inside the house with cleaning and helping with the kids and groceries and things like that. He’s a rockstar! I am so thankful for him and all he does.
Father’s Day 2016:
This little guy takes after his daddy in a lot of ways! He’s currently a big fan of vacuuming and a sweet friend sent him a special one of his own in the mail.
Ali is so excited about her baby sister! She hugs and kisses my belly several times a day and tells me how much she loves Josephine already.
Practicing with a baby doll…
Lots of hanging around together.
Popcorn movie nights (when Mommy is too tired to do anything else!)
Jason and I celebrated our 13th anniversary on June 14 by going to Josephine the restaurant for dinner. It was really lovely!
I’m thankful for a husband who loves gardening and landscape designing in his free time. His idea of rest is yard work, mowing, weeding, planting, watering, arranging plants. My idea of rest is sitting in these beautiful spaces and enjoying the fruit of his labor. My absolute favorite space is the courtyard in the front of our house. The trickling fountain echoing off the walls. The comfy cushions on the low bench. The beautiful plants. Jason built all of it and all of us love to sit out here. Even the frogs and skinks love it, at least I assume, since we have several living out here. Sometimes after I put Zay down for his morning nap, Ali and I sit out here to read books. And when both kids are napping, I love to sit here for some solitude.
The courtyard is my favorite but the backyard is getting better every season. We had a huge leap year of bamboo, which is enveloping this space in a thick green screen (and giving us more privacy from our neighbors from inside the house, too, since we have big windows). We love to eat lunch and dinner on the back patio, under the pergola. We also love toasting marshmallows and making s’mores around the fire pit. Jason recently planted a bunch of herbs for me and I’m looking forward to using them for cooking. My dad also blessed us with a potted tomato plant. We have several fruit trees and bushes (pear, cherry, blueberry and raspberry) on the other side of the fence and eventually I’d like to have a couple of vegetable garden beds. Maybe next year. (That’s what I said last year when I was pregnant with Zay.)
“Forzinnia” … that’s a combination of forsythia and zinnia. A couple weeks ago Ali helped pick out and then plant some zinnia. Last week our forsythia started blooming and she helped me clip some to put in vases. It’s no wonder she was getting the names mixed up! I love, love, love Spring in Nashville. Achoo! The allergies are a small price to pay for the beautify of this time of year.
Our zinnias should hopefully start blooming this month. Hooray for April! It’s a great month to have a baby.
We celebrated BIG last anniversary with a trip to Naples and Key West for 10 days, including snorkeling in a coral reef—the highlight of the trip. Father’s Day, our anniversary, my (30th!) birthday all fall within 5 days of each other. Combine that with newborn baby induced sleep-depravation and schedule-juggling and… This year I ordered a bird feeder. To celebrate our 11 years of blissful matrimony, we have a Brome 1015 Squirrel Buster Classic hanging outside our living room window. (Using this bracket.) It really is a gift to both of us, our whole family, as we’ve already been seeing lots of birds frequenting the feeder and we can see it from the dining room table and from the living room (where I’ve been sitting a lot to feed Firefly.)
It’s pretty cool how this works. It has a spring mechanism that closes up all the feed openings if a squirrel-weight animal clings to it. But for bird-weight animals, there are several openings for seeds. The birds are dropping a lot on the ground, though, so the squirrels are still happy.
For the first time in as long as I can remember we didn’t have any plans for the weekend—nowhere we had to be. Saturday was absolutely gorgeous and we spent the entire day outside: cleaning the chicken coop, planting plants, running around with Ali, cleaning out the garage. Sore muscles and sunburns but it was worth it, so refreshing and relaxing, just the three of us breathing deep and living our lives, going on. The judge’s pending decision pops back into my mind all the time but I shush the anxious thoughts and do my best to just be. To keep moving forward.
When Jason and I are doing yard work, Ali is either sleeping or helping. And by helping, I mean “helping.” Bless her heart, she wants so badly to be useful.
I was planning on getting Ali a sandbox this summer and then I realized, hello! We have a whole courtyard full of crushed rocks. Welcome to the giant sandbox, darling.
Look how she follows Jason around with her tiny shovel, trying to do exactly what he’s doing.
Such a beautiful picture of parenting and discipline, isn’t it? She learns how to act by watching and imitating us. We lead by example and it’s her instinct to follow.
It’s not forced. She could have been just playing in the rocks and that would have been fine. But she wanted to help Daddy. She wanted to do what Daddy was doing. She wants to be like Daddy.
The week before last, we had a load of 5 tons of gravel delivered to our courtyard. Jason graciously spent most of a Friday spreading about 3.5 tons. (The rest will be used somewhere else.) I was so tired so walking through the mud to get to the lovely paver stone path Jason made up to our front door steps…and mainly tired of Lucy getting her paws muddy. We’re taking our landscaping one step at a time but there are a few big things we wanted to tackle ASAP. The courtyard is a high priority to me because it’s the front entrance, the first impression of our house, and we’re expecting a lot of guests in the first weeks and months in our new house. When I looked at the pictures I took of the courtyard, I realized it came out really, really close to my Photoshop rendering!
I love how the windows reflect the sky.
We’re going to add a short fence and gate between the corner of the garage and the concrete wall to enclose all 4 sides and make it a true courtyard. Here’s the mock up I sent to our contractor, based on the fence we designed and built for our last house.We ultimately decided to keep this element out of the construction budget. Jason and I will build this, hopefully in January. The opening is only 12′ across so it’ll be so easy compared to a whole fence. And maybe will inspire us to add some privacy fencing around the backyard later in 2013.