I always wanted a big family with lots of kids. Only children either want what they grew up with or what they didn’t get to experience as a child. 50/50, right? Well, as an only child, I was always in the camp of wanting a loud house with builtin playmates.

Did we imagine we’d have 4? I’m not really sure there is a magic number when it comes to growing a family, everyone is different. But Lord willing, this will be our grand finale. I’m too old for this, ha!

The reality of having another child still hasn’t really set in yet with me. I’m finally well into my second trimester, but the weeks have seemed to drag on. My first trimester was a beast. I can actually say I was not sick with Luke, Eden or Adam…but baby #4 wants to make his / her mark early! I was throwing up every day after every meal for weeks. Misery. Taco Bell has been my lifeline, and if you follow me on Instagram, you’d see it’s pretty much this child’s entire diet. (I kid, but not really.)

I’m due late September around the first day of fall, which is kind of exciting. Fall is such a beautiful time in Ohio. Like the rest of our children we will not find out the gender and wait for his or her birthday.

Some things I’ve noticed with baby #4:

  • Names are particularly hard to chose. Especially if we have another boy. We have a few on a short list, but my mind changes with the wind.
  • People are actually very surprised to learn we’re having another child. I think people have this idea in their head that 4 is a little excessive. I didn’t really think it would come as a surprise to anyone, but it really has.
  • I’m nervous. I think I’m more nervous about this pregnancy than any others. I’m older and have a business to run and a household. My children are a little older and starting to get really busy with school and activities. The thought of going back to the newborn days actually frightens me, but I know we will do just fine!

That being said, I would love to hear from the 4 children camp…. I’ve heard #4 is easy and just blends right in with the rest. If that’s the case, I think we’ll be just fine.

Message me below or send me an email and let me know your experience!!

Dear Luke & Eden,

In a few days your lives are going to be flipped upside down. Not only are you going to have to share attention with your sibling, but now a third factor will be added to your equation.

You are both so little. You are both so innocent. Luke, your sweetness moves me to tears. Yesterday I wasn’t feeling well so I laid down upstairs in bed. You were outside playing with your sister at your Nanny and Grandpa’s house. I heard the kitchen sink running so I called down to you, “Everything okay?”

You responded: “Yes, mommy. Eden dropped her apple on the ground and I didn’t want her to eat something dirty, so I rinsed it off for her.” I laid back in bed and sobbed for your caring heart.

Eden, you are feisty. You are so tough. You are so beautiful. You ask me how I’m feeling daily. When I tell you I’m not feeling so well, you reply: “Well, that’s okay mommy. I’ll protect you from the lions, bears and the storm.” Last night, you told me you are going to take care of me and the baby because you’re big and strong and I believe you.

I am biased. I’m supposed to be…I’m your mom. But you two are the most caring children. Your hearts are so big it frightens me. I fear the real world will crush your souls at times, but I pray you always feel the love and support from me, your daddy and your siblings to breathe life back into your lungs…the way you breathe life into mine.

You two are 17 months apart, and it hasn’t always been easy. But I am so incredibly thankful for the age difference you have. You are so close. You don’t know life without each other. You sleep in the same room and when Eden gets scared, Luke you calm her fears and hold her hand.

Please know when your littlest sister or brother is born in a few days, I do not love you any less. In fact, I will love you even more. I need you both. I need you to continue to be helpful and care for one another. I need you to help me and help your new baby brother or sister. I need you to communicate with me when you are feeling sad, mad or jealous. You will feel all of these emotions, and it is perfectly normal.

I never had brothers or sisters, so I’m not entirely familiar with how siblings interact. But I can say this much, you make me so proud. I realize you are only 3 and 2 years old, but it’s important to me to put this into words now so you never forget how special you are.

Luke, you have been so concerned for me. You hold my hand when I walk up and down the stairs. You ask me every morning if I’m feeling okay. If the baby is okay. You make me a cup of coffee and ask to cuddle with me on the couch while your sister sleeps. You go easy on me with the constant requests to play sports because in your words, “Your belly is just too big.”

Eden, you tell me every day I’m pretty. You play with my hair. You whisper in my ear: “No, I love you more.” You hug me, kiss me, and ask me to dance daily. Your brother is your world. You look up to him so much, and he spoils you rotten. You often tell him, “I just can’t.” He’ll do whatever you want. You are so grateful and he loves to be the hero. You are so beautiful, Eden. Inside and out.

I am nervous to have this third baby, because it will massively shift our dynamic. But it will be fun to see how a third child’s personality will add to the chaos and expand our hearts. Please go easy on me. Have patience. Continue to be you. You are both such wise little children.

I want you to know I love you each individually with every ounce of my being. You are unique in your own way. I do not love you as a bundle, but as one. It’s important to me you know your worth, no matter what curveballs life brings our way. Continue to breathe life into me, because it’s what you do best. Nothing could, would or ever will change that.

Love,

Your Mom

Can I be completely honest here? I am beyond terrified of what is to come in the coming days.

I’m not talking about the huge responsibility of raising three hood rats, 3 years old and under. I’m not talking about the constant crying, challenging feedings or sleepless nights newborns graciously come equipped with. I feel like all that will come back like riding a bike. Naive? Perhaps. Optimistic? I’d say.

What I am terrified of is Labor and Delivery. Anyone who says it’s easy, I’m eye rolling you right now. This is the fear that keeps me up at night. Nightmares. Night sweats. I am more horrified of labor and delivery than I am to see how this election season unfolds. Selfish? Obviously.

Historically, epidurals have not worked in my favor. I attempted one with Luke and after 7 boosts, the hospital staff gave up. He was going to be delivered naturally with no drugs. 12 hours of labor and 3.5 hours of pushing. Hell. Homeboy had a big head.

Eden came so quickly. By the time we were set to go to the hospital I was in full blown, want to blow my brains out, labor. 9.5 centimeters dilated by the time I got checked into hospital. Nurses asking me questions about allergies and I was screaming there was a baby about to fall out! Eden was born within 45 minutes. No drugs. Hell. But it went so fast.

That’s the thing about babies. All of them are different. All deliveries are different. This one will be different than the other two…but that doesn’t calm my fears. Sweating in the middle of the night from anxiety/being the size of Shamu is causing restless nights.

My husband and I have talked ad nauseum about how we can make this one easier, but in the heat of it there is really nothing you can do but pray to get through it all alive! And to deliver a healthy baby.

I’d love some help/support/kick in the a**. What about you mamas? Anyone out there choose to not have an epidural (or perhaps they don’t work)? What do you do? What helps? I know breathing techniques, and I know there is no perfect answer. However, any advice is G R E A T L Y appreciated!!

Signed,

A very honest/tired/scared/nervous/sweaty/Shamu mama

Week 32 pregs

Started prenatal yoga. I’ve never taken a yoga class before in my life, but I really need zen. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. Is zen even a verb? I enjoyed class, but am totally the old fart there. I am the only person in class not on their first pregnancy and the only one about to drop a babe at any moment.

It reminds me of how naive I was with my first pregnancy. Running until I was about 25 weeks, going for daily walks, eating healthy, planning the nursery, baby showers, a registry. Oh, how I’d kill for another registry. I guess naive isn’t the right word, I was just more focused on my health and the baby. Which is why I’m trying to eat clean and workout these last few weeks. Day 2 of working out and I am ridiculously sore in questionable places.

Luke’s preschool

Luke started preschool 2 weeks ago. He’s cried everyday I’ve dropped him off, but his tears have lessoned with each school day and when I pick him up his teachers tell me he did just fine and is adjusting well. My kids have never gone to daycare or had a babysitter that wasn’t a family member. Weird? Probably. So school is a REALLY BIG DEAL.

I’m totally that mom prying information out of him on the reg, which he constantly tells me: “I DON’T KNOW!”

Example:
Me- Did you learn anything at school?
Luke- yes.
Me- What did you learn?
Luke- I DON’T KNOW!!!

So, I’m open to suggestions for a better prying method as I try to figure out if my kid is surviving alright. In the meantime, Luke will continue to make his little sister very jealous of his 200 new pieces of “artwork”.

Eden’s new “tude”

Is sassier than ever. She recently has discovered her love for chatting on the phone. I picture her teenage years here. In this convo her BFF just called to tell her what the B down the street did. *eye rolling all over the place*

The Ireland Circus

I’m thinking about changing my blog name to ‘The Ireland Circus’. I often refer to this family as a freaking circus, and really don’t see any change in the near future as we welcome baby #3 soon. 3, 3 years and under. Oy.

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Has agreed to be on a reality TV show. I will leave it at that. Details coming soon…

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It was kind of last minute and we went back and forth and back and forth on taking this trip. BUT, we went. AND, I am so happy we did.

It was so refreshing spending time with my mom and Thing 1 & Thing 2 before we welcome their baby brother/sister in 8 short weeks. Oy.

5 things I learned from this trip to Disney:

1. SLOW DOWN

Being 7 months pregnant helped that. Vacation is overwhelming for little kids. It’s new, out of their routine, and there is a lot to absorb. Some of the greatest memories on this trip were dancing by the castle…watching a bunny eat (yes we did this for almost an entire hour)…running in the rain…and riding the monorail.

By nature, we (adults) want to go go go. Mom and I really slowed down and just let the kids explore. Luke was Buzz Lightyear until about day 3 and then he became a pirate searching for buried treasure. Eden was a princess on day 1 and still a princess on day 5. (She was also a cat hoarder. We purchased two more cats, a cat hat and cat coffee mug.)

2. ARRIVE EARLY

This is the first time we have done this. My kids are not early risers, but they were this trip. We made early breakfast reservations so we could get into the park first. Try to make reservations before the parks even open if you can. Yes, everyone will hate life, but it’s SO worth it. It wasn’t super hot and the park was empty.

3. GO WITH THE FLOW

Things will not go as planned. You won’t get to do nearly as much as you hoped for, it could rain (or hurricane) kids can get sick (which both of mine did a few days before we left). It’s all OK! These are the things that make the memories you’ll remember. I saw so many parents rushing everyone around while kids were having meltdowns. Granted, I am not perfect… but just go with the flow. It’ll make everyone’s life easier and happier.

4. NAPS and SNACKS

Duh.

5. TAKE YOUR CAMERA

Also a first this trip. Usually I just depend on my iPhone and those Photo Pass people to take pictures. Let’s admit it, iPhone pics aren’t the greatest. The Photo Pass is great….BUT…it’s super expensive. I’m also a fan of candid pics and not staged smiling snapshots. The pros won’t take these kind of pics. I thought taking my camera would be a giant pain in the a**, but it wasn’t bad at all. And I’m really happy to have these pictures now.

***WARNING*** picture overload:

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At the Princess breakfast, Luke did not have much interest UNTIL he met Jasmine. “Where have you been? I’ve been waiting for you. No! Don’t stand there, come over here and take a picture with just me.”

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When in Italy… (no wine was consumed for the making of this picture)

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Luke got to meet Buzz Lightyear this day. He was so star struck.

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Taking a break from dancing, running, sword fighting and every other physical activity imaginable.

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Jackie O on the Boardwalk.

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Luke: “Mom takes a lot of pictures Buzz, all you have to do is say ‘Cheeeeese’.”

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While searching for buried treasure, Eden spotted some lady’s hair and started crying because she thought there was a bear on her head.

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When you let the kids pick out any toy they want on vacation, you introduce Meow Meow 3 and 4 to the family. Eden also got a Meow Meow hat (pictured below) and a cup. #cathoarder

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Nanny.

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Luke did not want her in his personal space, so she photo bombed his picture.

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Thrilled about her hat. Not thrilled I took 900 pictures of her wearing the hat while laughing hysterically.

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Breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle was a highlight, and totally worth it. Especially because Luke got sword #2 and Eden got a magic wand (aka: sword to fight her brother)

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3 going on 18.

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Seeing Cinderella for the first time.

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Eden has the damsel in distress act perfected. She likes to tell Luke she’s scared and he tells her he will protect her.

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Mom asked me why I take so many pictures of their backs. It’s so I can’t see them eye roll me as I snap picture 2,439.

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If you’re wondering if it’s hot in Orlando at the end of August…the answer is YES. Tink looks as though she’s about to pass out here. (mom was too)

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Nothing like a night on the Boardwalk.

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The only halfway decent picture they took with their mom. They pose so much better with Nanny.

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So long. See ya real soon.

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