Friday, September 9, 2016

Henry's Nursery

Beatrix Potter holds a special place in my heart. My first "little girl" bedroom {about ages 5-9} was decorated with Beatrix Potter--from my bedspread to my nightlight! 

I knew I wanted to decorate Henry's nursery with Peter Rabbit and all the whimsy that accompanies the stories and illustrations of Beatrix Potter.

Scott hung the crown molding, created beautiful canned lighting, and painted the room a chalky, dusty pastel green. Basically, my husband is my hero for making my nursery vision come to life!

I love how the room turned out! It's so sweet and dreamy, filled with antique store finds, monograms {Thanks, Mom!}, beautiful bedding, and many items that are precious to me.

Henry Thomas, I just can't wait to rock you in this room! One more week, baby boy!

Jack's First Day of Preschool

This Wednesday was Jack's first day at his new preschool! He hopped right out of the car in the carpool line, and when I picked him up he said, "I love school!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mommy! I want to come here every day!!"

He came home with dirt and paint on his clothes, which I took to be the sure signs of a great day at preschool!

He was such a big boy going into his new school all by himself. I am so proud of this kiddo!

Jack was WAY more excited for his after school treat than actually going to school, I'm going to be honest. "Mom, are we going to Sweet Frog!?" he asked, as soon as we got back in the car after school. "Yes, baby! And you get to pick out whatever flavor you want!"

What did my Jack Attack want? That would be Cake Batter ice cream with cherries, hot fudge, gummy bears, and Lego candy. EW. But he was in Heaven!!

We laughed and enjoyed ice cream together, and I got to hear all about his day. He was in Heaven from the ice cream consumption, and I was in Heaven getting to spend time with my "sugar candy boy," as I call him all the time! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Less Than 10 Days!

That's right! It's officially less than ten days until Mr. Henry makes his arrival!!

Here are some of the things I'm feeling in this "waiting" stage right now:

1. Anxious for my mom to get here: The woman has to be me for several days! And I'm just going to be honest: Being me is cray cray under the best of circumstances. Getting up early. Packing lunches. Checking homework. Watering plants. Returning books to the library. Making breakfast--orange juice for Nathan, apple juice for Jack. You get the picture. I'm ready for my momma to get here, so I can start her intensive training on being Emily Ryan for a while! ;)

2. SO ready to not be pregnant anymore: The swelling. The weight gain. The contractions. None of my clothes fit. None of my shoes fit. I'm getting up to go pee four times every night. Like, I am soooooo over being pregnant.

3. Over-the-moon excited to meet Henry: It's so difficult to put into words what sort of deep love you have for your child, before you've ever even held him in your arms. I love Henry so much I would die for him in an instant if I had to. I can't wait to hold that little boy in my arms and weep over him and kiss him over and over. I just can't wait for that moment that he's no longer unseen under my belly, kicking and jabbing--but rather crying on my chest, curling into me, falling asleep. Oh goodness, I am ready to get all mushy gushy into full blown baby mode again.

4. Worrying about Jack: Will he feel ignored? Will he feel like he's no longer my precious baby!? He will always and forever be my precious, snuggly baby!! Will he act out? He's just starting at a new school today. What if there are too many changes at once!?

5. Worrying about Nathan: Will he feel invisible? He's already feeling like school is so long. Some days it practically feels like he's just home for dinner-bath-bed. And that's it! Will he feel like I don't have the time to get down on his level and listen to him and connect with him? Will he be jealous that Jack gets to spend more time with the baby?

6. Gratitude for three boys: I am so grateful to God for blessing me with three sons. I never did a single good thing in my life to deserve three precious boys.

7. Anxious for what the future will look like: How will I handle the sleep deprivation? How will I handle the initial pain from breastfeeding? How will I handle going to the gym in four months, carrying a diaper bag and a baby and Jack and my water bottle and my earbuds and my towel? What will church look like? I don't think I can make it through service and Sunday school! What will my work look like with a baby? What if I can't get him on a good nap schedule?

8. Fear of bleeding: I've had emergency bleeding with both of my other deliveries (discovered this go around that I have a low platelet count), and I'm assuming I'll have emergency bleeding with this delivery, too. But, it's still a bit scary. One moment, you're holding your baby. In the next moment, baby is out of your arms. They're always shoving pills down my throat and jabbing my thighs with needles. And then, I'm totally drugged and can barely open my eyes. Not exactly how you want to feel when you just want to snuggle with your newest addition. The things we do for our children!! ;)

9. Pleeeeease don't be born on September 11th.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Labor Day

The unthinkable happened: Scott got three full days off! HEAVEN! We had the most fun Labor Day weekend, soaking up every moment we could!

Yesterday, Scott wanted to take the boys fishing and out on the kayak. So, nearly nine months pregnant mommy tagged along.

The boys were excited!!

Note to self: Do not go kayaking when you're almost nine months pregnant. It isn't enjoyable. It's uncomfortable. And it will cause 24 hours of contractions. OY.

We didn't catch any fish, but we made a memory! And that certainly counts for something! :)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Jack's Preschool Open House ... And Big Changes

As if we don't have enough major changes going on in our little family's life right now, Jack is about to start {next week!} at a brand new preschool. I really wrestled and prayed over the decision to move him to a new preschool. Leaving our school of three years that we've absolutely loved was not an easy choice to make. But, I feel the Lord's blessing over this school, and it's much, much closer to our house. I've just had to make some decisions to make MY life easier lately, and this was one of them.

Jack's teachers seem absolutely precious! His little classroom looks so sweet, and we even signed up for Soccer Shots. Big boy stuff! I have no doubt he'll love his new school. Open house was a huge success this morning!

In case you can't tell from these two pictures below, Jack was super excited about wearing his new shoes to his new school. {And he was pretty excited to get McDonald's for lunch in celebration of a successful preschool open house!}

I am sooooooo taking my life one day at a time right now. Nathan starting kindergarten. Nathan riding the bus. Homework!? Jack starting at a new school. All new faces. New moms. And once again, I'm finding myself feeling like I'm starting all over in a brand new place! New baby two weeks away. Diapers and sleepless nights and breastfeeding after a four-year break from babies!

I think it is no wonder that the Lord has put this verse over and over in my path lately:

God was so blatant with this verse, that I just yesterday commissioned an artist to do this framed lettering to hang in my house. This verse is the story of the Ryans, and the story of what we're walking through right now. We're always walking blindly in life, aren't we? We aren't promised tomorrow, we aren't promised our jobs or any type of security. But we are promised that the Lord goes before us, and especially on these unfamiliar paths we've been traversing of late. And, to think, we'll be moving again in 1 year and 9 months! Thank Jesus that He never forsakes us, and that He goes before us turning our darkness into light and our rough places into smooth places.

Breathe, Emily, just breathe. I'm working on it. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Nathan's First Day of Kindergarten

Like, whoa. Sending your firstborn off to kindergarten is no small deal, my friend.

All summer long, we've talked about kindergarten. People have asked us about kindergarten. Is he riding the bus? Where is he going to school? Public or private? Does he know anybody going there? Do you have your school supplies yet? How are you feeling about it--anxious?

Well, by the tail end of August, let me tell you: I was ready for him to go! The anxiety was just about killing me!

Nathan, true to form, has not been nervous or anxious for a second. Rather, he's been super pumped and ready for kindergarten to just start already!

I was very proud of myself because I shed not a tear before he got out of the car. Not while I was laying his clothes the night before or writing a note in his lunch box. Not when I was packing up his backpack, or attending orientation, or visiting his classroom for the first time.

{Be kind. I'm having a baby in three weeks. I know I look like a swollen potato.}

Of course, when my baby got out of the car, well that's another story entirely. I really did cry hard for about two minutes. Like, I was embarrassed to be out driving and sobbing at the same time.

Like I said, it's no small deal to send your firstborn off to kindergarten.

It's like you spend five or six years parenting and teaching and loving and encouraging and disciplining, and then one day, they're gone from 7:30-2:30 five days a week. WHAT!? Does he know how to open his gogurt by himself? Will he know where the bathroom is? What if he's confused on a direction for a class assignment?

And you kind of just say to yourself, Well, I guess he'll figure out how to open his gogurt and find the bathroom and figure out school. Without me there to help him. Oy. Gulp.

Thankfully, Scott made it home early for pictures and to drop Nathan off with me. I think he's equally baffled that Nathan is in kindergarten. I'm not sure how other couples are, but how can you not have the "Don't you remember when he was born and we were bringing him home from the hospital?" conversation!?

I really, truly don't worry about my Nathan James at all. He is so outgoing that he always has lots of friends. He's wary of children with bad behavior {thank goodness! hope that one sticks around forever}. And in terms of academics, he's been reading for nine months, he's working on first grade sight words, he's incredible at math, and well, braggy mom or bust, he's just very smart. I know he will thrive and shine in kindergarten!

Jack keeps asking me throughout the day, "Are we going to get Nathan now?" It's hard for me to explain to him that Nathan is gone for most of the day now. I can tell that Jack misses his big brother fiercely. Bam, sadness. Wasn't even thinking about the effect it was going to have on little brother!!

His first day was a huge success! I asked him, "What was your very favorite part about your first day in kindergarten?" And his answer was, "EVERYTHING!"

When we picked him up from his first day, I told him we would go and get a treat. He said he wanted to get a snowcone, so that's exactly what we did!

I'm so proud of my Nathan James! This is the very first little push out of the nest for him. Middle school, high school, driving, college, marriage. I know we, as parents, give our children these pushes throughout their young lives, but it doesn't make it any easier!

Here's to a great year for my sweet boy! I love you to pieces, Nathan James!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nathan's Kindergarten Orientation

Yesterday was Nathan's kindergarten orientation. He was very excited! {His mama was a little nervous!} He was also super excited that he finally got to wear his new shoes that we bought two weeks ago!

We first went into Nathan's classroom and met his very sweet teacher! We found his table, and set up his school supplies. {I turned to Scott right before we walked into his classroom and said in a panicky voice, "I think I might cry!!" I didn't, though. I was a big girl.}

Nathan got to color a picture that said "Welcome to Kindergarten!"

Then, the parents and the kiddos separated--the kiddos to go have fun, the parents to attend an anxiety-inducing meeting with lots of details that made me feel more than a little overwhelmed. Oy. But we made it! And with no tears {from mama--tears from Nathan was never really a concern}!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Henry's Baby Sprinkle

Last weekend, my sweet friend Virginia threw a little baby "sprinkle" for Mr. Henry! My mom even flew in for the occasion! I had such a wonderful time visiting with my friends and opening precious gifts for my little Henry!

I can't wait for this baby boy to get here! He sure is blessed to already be this loved, adored, and cherished before he has ever drawn his first breath! :)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Morning On The River

With Scott's craaaaaazy work schedule this summer, we're savoring our Saturday mornings with Daddy. Last weekend, we went out to the Roanoke River and had so much fun with the boys. We went fishing, caught some crayfish, went kayaking, threw rocks, and just generally soaked up some good family time!

Here's a picture of Henry! ;) My belly is getting bigger and bigger as this active little baby continues to grow. I've been having my fair share of contractions. Five and a half weeks to go....not that I'm counting down the literal days or anything!!

Doesn't Jack look so mature!? My baby is growing up! I'm completely in denial that he's turning four this year.

This picture is a bit deceptive. I promise we didn't let our baby Jack float out to the river. If you look in the foreground, you'll see the rope we were holding on to. Also, he's all of about ten feet from us.