Thursday, October 25, 2012

End of the line: 38 weeks pregnant

It started with a simple word...

On February 25th 2012, I got confirmation that our family was indeed growing. It had been 6 months of trying; of buying that package because I just couldn't wait for the obvious signs. Of obsessing over pictures of babies, ideas for nurseries, of dreams of my three children running around together. 
I was ecstatic, and couldn't wait for Daddy, Big Brother, and Big Sister to know!
The journey started off beautiful. My hands seemed glued to my belly as I waited for those first precious movements inside me. It was pure bliss just knowing there was a second heartbeat in my body. I was blessed with the same amazing pregnancy that I had had with Nevaeh. A bit of nausea and exhaustion, but no sickness or headaches, or anything unpleasant. I was able to enjoy every sweet minute.
And then we found was a girl! A sweet sister to add to our already perfect family. 
She continued to grow. She thrived through a Pennsylvania camping trip, an energetic toddler, swimming, zoo trips and more. She seemed to be as excited as I was about life, and granted me the energy to do it all! 
Beautiful baby Savannah Evelyn is almost here!
We cannot wait to meet her <3

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gender Stigmas

I suppose it's society and culturing that has given me certain frames of mind. I am accepting of all people from all walks of life, though I still have my opinions. It's never my place to judge, and I wouldn't even if it was. I'm raising my children to know that they can be whoever and whatever they want, and teaching them to strive for the best that they can, but not to be obsessed with being on top or the best.

So when Landon came to me today with this discussion, I found myself baffled at the thoughts and words that automatically came from me. Mike the Knight came on TV, one of Landon's favorite cartoons. He wanted to be a Knight for Halloween, and chose a Princess costume for Nevaeh so they could match (Though his Mom bought him a Ninja costume, so that didn't really work out). Nevaeh proclaimed, "I Mike Knight!" and carried around one of Landon's toy swords. Landon was aghast and told her, "No no! Nevaeh, you can't be a Knight. That's just for boys, and you're a girl. Girls can't be knights." I jumped to her rescue, saying that of course she could be a Knight She could be anything she wanted to be, especially if she was playing pretend and using her imagination. Landon's face scrunched up, and he went back to watching his show.

A little while later Landon came to me holding Nevaeh's princess costume. "BB, can I be a Princess for Halloween?" In the middle of mashing up the meatloaf mix, I tossed over my shoulder, "No Bubba, your sister is going to be the Princess. Girls are Princesses. You can be a Prince though." He got distracted and went off to play, leaving me to think about what I just said.

Girls can be Knights, but boys can't be Princesses. When I think about my kids' futures, I admit I have a general picture in mind. Landon playing football, or baseball or soccer. Playing the drums or guitar. Nevaeh (and baby girl) playing volleyball, softball or swimming. Playing the piano like her Momma did. Not that I will pressure them to play sports, or dance or anything. I picture them all being intelligent, maybe being in the Chess Club or something equally challenging. But when it comes to the gender-specific things, like makeup vs. man stink, football vs. ballerina...I don't picture my kids doing the opposite gender-specific activity. If my daughters came to me one day expressing a desire to be quarterback, I admit that I would initially sit them down and talk long and hard about it. Tell them how difficult it would be, that maybe something a little softer or safer would be better. I wouldn't forbid them, of course, but I wouldn't exactly encourage it either.

Why is that? Why do I feel the need to encourage my kids to do things that society has cultured us to believe is acceptable? It's not wrong to want things for my children, to guide them in the directions I feel will help them thrive. But why would my gut reaction be to discourage them from anything? Why would I dive in with the mindset that girls can't be football players, and boys can't be Princesses? I count my blessings that I am not a close-minded person. That I embrace life the way it comes. But then comes smaller things like this, that can play such an important part in someone's life. Buying a firetruck for Landon and letting Nevaeh play with it, but when Landon starts toting around a pink purse I tell him that is for little girls, and he is a big boy. My gender stigma is definitely more critical towards boys than it is to girls. Perhaps because of the "equality" issue. Makes no sense, because I'm not an outright feminist, nor do I think the issue should be as blown out as it is.

I made myself a goal tonight. I will continue to guide my children how I feel is best, but I will hold my tongue from instilling a gender stigma in their impressionable minds. I can't say I'll buy Landon a princess dress as fast as I would buy Nevaeh a Knight costume, but if he expressed a desire to wear pink I will not deny him that. I am certainly entitled to my ways of thinking, but that doesn't mean I should force my own ideas onto them.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Memory Storage

I wish I could regularly blog, like I used to. I feel like the last 3 years have been a defining, crucial time in my life, and yet I was rarely able to sit myself down, organize my thoughts, and document them. I still remember all of the events, emotions and experiences during that time, luckily. I want to do better at blogging (journaling) because my mother did it, and her journals are some of the most precious items I have left of her. I know some funny and meaningful stories from my childhood because of those journals. Like how my mother was potty training me at 2 years old. One day I told her I wanted to go by myself, and I ran into the bathroom and slammed the door before she could assist me. I was a big girl, I could do it myself. My mom waited outside the door for a good 5 minutes before finally deciding to check on my progress. She opened the door, and there I stood; legs spread, head down, hands clasped in front of me with my index fingers pointing toward the toilet. "What are you doing?" She asked me. I had looked at her with the proudest smile and said, "I pee like brother!" my mom calmly walked out, shut the door, and had a crying fit of laughter! She then came back in and explained the difference between girls and boys and their pee parts.

Her journals also reassure me that despite the torment I put her through during some of my teenage years, I was so loved and special to her. Even when I dated jerks, when I stopped going to church, and when my grades slipped further down the alphabet line. Of course I know in my soul that I was always loved and special to her, but seeing the words written down brings an extra comfort.

I think the problem I am having with blogging, is that I always feel like I need to be philosophical in my posts. Come to some climactic epiphany, or have some life lesson spun into my words. I forget that just capturing moments from my life, from my children's life, is what is most important. Even if it's just one line. "It was a great day." My kids will see that and know that on that day, I was happy. Certainly Facebook isn't going to be around forever, and you can be sure my kids aren't going to scroll through it looking at my status updates to gauge how life was. To me, a journal is as important as pictures.

So this is my goal for myself. I will blog. Ideally, once a week. Realistically? Hopefully once a week, or at least whenever something worthwhile (or seemingly mundane) happens. Capturing our life so that if our kids have any doubts of their childhood, or are curious about events, they can look back at my entries and read about it. Family vacations we took before they were old enough to remember, weekend trips to the Zoo. Potty training tales, terrible 2's, first days of school, what we do on a lazy day. Anything. I owe my children that. It's something I cherish from my mother, and I don't want to suddenly be 50 and look back, and regret that my kids don't have my words of wisdom (har har) to carry with them even after I'm gone.

I am 36 weeks pregnant now. I am so excited to bring another precious soul into this world, and to fill this blog with memories of and for her (and her, and him).