Getting Ready…

It’s been ages since I last updated. In fact, I think it was around the time Atticus was 2 months old. Yikes.

But like many of you know, adding a new member of the family makes free time few and far between. Let alone free time for writing. Cause suddenly, Atticus is 11 months old.

Can you believe it?

I can’t either.

So why am I writing now? Well we are doing something with the whole family I’ve wanted to do since falling in love with Michael.

WE ARE ALL TRAVELING TO LEBANON (and Paris)!!

Sorry to shout but it’s so damn exciting!!

Writing about our travels is something I’ve always done here, but I didn’t get a chance to document my Greece trip, with Atticus, the way I would have liked. I really learned a lot on that trip about traveling with babies, that I felt like someone should be writing about.

So I searched and searched, and while there seemed to be some really excellent family travel bloggers out in the interwebs, none with a perspective quite like me and my family.

Which means: I’ll be back WAY more often, and hopefully this blog design will be updated soon with current pictures and pics of our little guy on this side bar over there ——>

First though, let me give you a little background on how this trip came to be.

Michael’s close friend Joe, has lived in Lebanon for a few years now, and is marrying a fantastic person in a few short weeks.

Last fall, when we first heard the wedding might be in Beirut, we started thinking about making the trip as a family, particularly because it was a perfect occasion to finally make the trip. Selfishly? It would give us a chance to all meet and visit with Michael’s Teta, who is in her 90’s. In fact there’s a whole extended family we have never met, waiting for us there.  Needless to say, by January, we had our tickets booked.

How does Paris factor in? Since we had to have a layover somewhere in Europe, because the US has no direct flights to Lebanon, we asked the girls where they’d like to stop and gave them a few options.

Well about a split second after I said Paris, they both shouted “Paris!!!! The Eiffel Tower!!” And that’s how we ended up with four days and nights in Paris as well. Which was an excellent choice IMO. I haven’t been to Paris since college, and have been dying to get back there, to revisit the city I fell in love with and practice my French. And I think the kids and Michael will love it as much as I do.

Now, many may be wondering how or why or what we are thinking, taking three kids overseas and especially to Paris and the Middle East right now. And I hear you.

Traveling can be scary. All the unknowns and all the fear mongering in the media, can really mess with people and make naturally curious human beings, distrustful and insulated.

But for us, the experiences and understandings we have gained from traveling the small bit of the globe we have seen, far outweighs the inherent risk of living in the era of the world we inhabit.

People wonder how we can take a baby or small kids. Won’t it be difficult? What will they eat? How about the baby, what about his schedule?

Well, I can tell you from traveling with Atticus and my sister to Santorini, Greece, this past October, it’s not as hard to travel with a baby as I thought it was. The hardest part was the plane ride. The rest was just tucking him into the carrier, having to stop to nurse occasionally and finding a spot to change his diaper (hard to come by). Having two adults to deal with the baby was excellent, and will be again. The big girls are pretty self-sufficient, and we trust that they’ll be just fine on the plane once their movie screens are working.

As far as schedules go, the girls don’t nap, and the baby sleeps really well in a carrier. So…babywearing for the win, again.

And eating? Thankfully all three kids are adventurous eaters and love carbs and pastries. They’ll fit right in with the Parisian kids. And Lebanese food is their absolute favorite, and the girls know how to say most of the food in Arabic already.

We found an excellent looking AirBnB in Paris with its own children’s bedroom, a few blocks from Notre Dame and Place St Michel. Then we will fly to Lebanon and stay with Michael’s Teta (grandmother), in the village my father-in-law grew up in, for a week. After that, it’s off to Beirut, for the rest of our holiday, which we have an lovely apartment in the Hamra district to stay in.

But now the hardest part of traveling. Packing.

Its the WORST.

We are leaving in five days and things are only vaguely packed. It’s a bit stressful, to be honest.  IMG_0016

Tomorrow…watch me turn this overflowing laundry basket of black knit and Spanx into a beautifully organized and (hopefully) wrinkle free suitcases

I’ll break down the method to my madness of packing for five people for three weeks in two totally different climates, with a special occasion in the mix

As always if you have any questions please let me know! I’ve got all kinds of post ideas about traveling with kids, cheap flights, finding the perfect hotel/rental, how to make things less difficult once you arrive in the country you’re visiting. Let me know if there’s anything else you can think of…

Happy Sunday!!

 

Atticus at 2 months

Whew. Where has the past few months gone? Between preparing for Atticus to arrive and adjusting to our new family of five, it has just flown by.

And now here we are…Atticus is 2 months old. Well, 9 weeks old on Wednesday.

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I thought I would be real slick and take real pictures on my real camera with the 35mm lens for a change. And then both laptops stopped working and I couldn’t figure out how to get the pics off my SD card and onto the iPad to write in WordPress. Damn technology was trying to hold me back!! But now, I’m writing on Michael’s laptop, and everything is weird cause it’s a PC, but oh well.

But y’all, my baby is already 2 months old. ::sobbing::

And yes, that's Fred and George. Cause the Boy Who Lived just had to have Harry monthly stickers, didn't he?

And yes, that’s Fred and George. Cause the Boy Who Lived just had to have Harry monthly stickers, didn’t he?

He’s wearing mostly 3-6 month clothes with a few 6 month pieces creeping in. And is it just me or does Carter’s run REAL small?

Atti is just the sweetest and silliest little guy. And forever chill. Like only cries when he’s hungry, tired or has to fart. Otherwise? Chill.

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Mid photo shoot starving

He’s awake more than he’s asleep these days which is fun and exhausting in it’s own unique way. I am definitely looking forward to the school year starting (in more ways than this one) because hopefully, he will settle into a nap pattern that will allow me more of a chance to get stuff done while he’s asleep so I can hang with him and his sisters while he’s awake.

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Sticking out my tongue is my favorite

A new favorite is the baby gym play mat thingy that Josie is too big for (thanks Leslie!) and anything that makes music or noise.

While he is all giggles and coos and silly sounds these days, his funny little piglet snorting when he’s hungry or becoming upset, is still going strong too. If you haven’t heard it, imagine a baby pig. That’s him. We should really call him Piglet.

Who you callin' Piglet, mama?

Who you callin’ Piglet, mama?

Atticus loves nothing more than taking a nap in a wrap or carrier and that’s often the best way to get him to sleep. He managed to sleep for three+ hours at the DIA yesterday in the carrier. Just snoring away like a little old man.

And though Michael may be in denial, I think the first stages of teething have begun. Lots of gnawing on his hands and any object he can manage to get in his mouth, the incessant drooling and a sigh of relief when I massage his gums. So he is now sporting a sweet new amber necklace and I’ll be busting out the bibdanas shortly.

He really is just such a good baby. We love him so much more than we ever dreamed we could. And can’t imagine how he has only been here for 2 months, and yet it seems like that was just a second ago.

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We’re Having a Baby…Soon!

The past nine months seem to have flown by in a blur of school drop-offs, field trips, swim lessons, field trips, birthday parties, holidays and grocery shopping.

I remember the days when I could blog often. I miss those days. Or do I? Though the days are busy, they are satisfying and they are our new normal.

But here we are. Home stretch. Just a few more weeks to go.

WE ARE HAVING ANOTHER BABY.

I mean, we know it’s going to happen, sooner than later. We knew this was the end result. But it floors me every time.

Now that we’re used to kids with no diapers, that go to school all day and sleep all night (well, for the most part).

Kids that can do things for themselves, like brush their teeth, get dressed and tie their shoes (not that they do ANY of that without being hollered at for at least 20 minutes every morning).

Now we will be re-entering the world of diapers and non-stop nursing and nap schedules and no sleep.

Too late to think we’re crazy now.

Not much has been different about this pregnancy than Isora’s really. Baby Boy seems to have the same amount of excessive movement, which is a little frightening since Isora hasn’t stop moving since she was in utero. Should be interesting to have another busy body in the family. And by interesting I mean “Oh my God! Can’t one of you just sit still?!”

He has also graced me with the same amount of nausea and all-day sickness, perhaps even longer than his sisters did. Thankfully that stopped just in time for 24-7 heartburn to begin. I am popping Papaya Enzyme tablets like it’s my job.

Thankfully I started back at our beloved chiropractor JUST before the sciatic nerve pain really kicked in. Bi-weekly adjustments seem to be keeping the pain away for the most part.

And now it’s just a matter of not feeling comfortable, well, anywhere. Walking feels good as long as I have been recently adjusted, but I can’t do for long stretches without feeling like I can’t breathe.

Sitting is a challenge, particularly in the car and at the dinner table. I can’t sit close enough to make either activity comfortable.

Laying and sleeping has become an all-together nightmare. I have to “lay down” propped up by ALL the pillows to be vertical enough that the heartburn stays at bay long enough for a stretch of sleep. If I should dare to roll clumsily over onto one hip or another, shooting hip pains AND heartburn wake me up, if my miniscule bladder hasn’t already woken me first. I am *this* close to taking to sleeping in the new glider chair in the nursery just to get a decent chunk of sleep.

But Miracle of Life, right?! LOL

But in all seriousness, I am so thankful for how completely normal and unremarkable this pregnancy has been. After the loss of Miles and Boo and the horrible pregnancies with both of them, I didn’t know what this journey would be like.

I have often been worried that this pregnancy would have been shadowed by sadness or guilt or pain. And it certainly has had its moments. But for the most part, it has been healing, life affirming, just exactly what I needed to accept the losses and to move forward into this new phase of parenthood.

This pregnancy has also made me more bold. Made me want to do all the things I’ve never done while pregnant before. Like maternity photos.

I’ve never felt glowing or beautiful when pregnant. I’ve always felt massive and zit-covered and awkward.

But this time, despite being infinitely larger than any other previously pregnancy, I feel good about my body. My face isn’t covered in pimples (thanks Kelsey and Rodan + Fields). And even though I’m waddling, I don’t feel that clumsy (no falls down the stairs or out of the shower this time thankfully).

So I decided to go for it, and book a maternity session with my friend and über-talented photographer Jessica. I told her I wanted to feel like some kind of glowy, ethereal, fertility goddess. And she more than delivered.

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I mean WHOA. I am in love with this image. Can’t wait to see the others fully edited. She is just so creative and made me look like I was glowing from within.

Suddenly we’re close enough to meeting our son that the panic has begun to set in about just when and how labor will go down. There is the fear of the unknown that has crept in, and while I’m trying to shake it off, I think it is just inevitable.

But instead of freaking out about it, I will take a deep breath, look at this picture, and try to be this woman. Peaceful, serene and so incredibly thankful for the squirmy little man that will soon change our lives forever.