Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Pooh That's Not Hitting The Fan...

You know, with this baby, I haven't had any of those moments where my head spins off and I cry and heave and shout and holler. It usually hits me within the first week, and again at the three week hump, but Sam turns 4wks tomorrow and there have been no emotional breakdowns or temper tantrums from me. I dare not call it a success yet, but I'm beginning to think we've escaped it. 

I can think of a couple reasons why-- because of the home birth, I never went into that crazy exhaustion because night time nurses think everyone should be awake if they are and let's go check on that new mom every 24 minutes to make sure she never rests. And let's be honest, we were on the crazy train leading up to the birth- moving, acquiring Gabe and homeschooling, and growing said baby Sam among all the other nutty commitments we live in normally. Or it could be because this is the 3rd time we've done this in under 4 years and now we're just numb. I don't know, but I'll take it, because those post-partum lose it attacks are not pretty and it takes a loooooong time for recovery. Especially on your husband's part. He's all tip-toeing around and yes dear and nodding his head while backing himself out of the house. It's a good thing men don't call their friends and vent or else men would stop having children. They'd compare notes, hear about the post-baby crazy, and quit reproducing. The end of humanity would come quickly. 

Anyway, let me tell you what is happening around here and you will see that the grace of God in resting atop this place! 1) Chad is in his busy season, aka we never see him. He is taking tomorrow off which makes me do the happy dance every time I think about it. But I'm leaving for abBeth Moore conference with girlfriends (and baby Sam) and then he's back to work Saturday so it's really a facade. But don't tell me. 2) Since Chad is in his busy season and I'm raising 4 boys, including one that is nourished by my own person every 3 hours, we've resigned to not really talking or connecting-- just more of a zone defense sort of game plan-- who's on what and when? Texting with location and ETA and all converging at the dinner table for a minute or two. I'm not complaining totally, because it's working, but I am resting in the fact that this is only a stage. 3) Sam was tongue and lip tied... I say was because I took him to an ENT on Tuesday and they clipped it WHILE I was holding him... Need I say more? 4) I need parenting advice from seasoned parents on how to handle Gabe. He is VERY respectful of me and never disobeys on purpose, but this 10 year old is so spacey and forgetful and just has his head in the clouds so often that I find myself fussing the majority of the time. He doesn't do what he's supposed to do and say's "oh I forgot" a million times a day and loses things like it's his purpose in life. How do you train and discipline that? How do you teach responsibility and let him suffer consequences even though he's not really doing it on purpose- he's just not paying attention, ever!!!?!! Help please! 5) Jack is acting out because of the baby... Huge fits at bed time, never obeying, following me around all day crying "mommy I need you" every second that I'm not holding him. (reminder, I feed a baby a bazillion times a day so poor Jack!) He even had my mother ready to give him away yesterday and that's basically impossible. 6) Max is actually in his prime right now-- wanting to do everything by himself including making his own bed and dressing himself and sleeping in big boy undies all night and seriously never wetting. Just all of a sudden he was like "hey, I'm gonna go from 3 to 13, watch mom!" and I'm all huddled up, weeping in the corner, praising his independence on the outside but hating it on the inside. Let's be honest- its a gift from God during this time- I can't be all thing to all people- but I'm still not ready to accept that he isn't as needing of me anymore. Tear(s). 7) And last but not least, I packed up my maternity clothes because there's nothing like the threat of having to go naked to get you to make good food choices. But I have like 2 things I can wear. People are going to start noticing...
8) These people dirty up 486 loads of laundry a week and yesterday, while folding laundry during nap time, Sam filled his diaper, then his cup runneth over... Onto my bed, and me, through the sheets, to the mattress pad and managed to get it on 3 blankets and a burp cloth. Thank you for more laundry- I had nothing better to do.

And see. I write all that- there's probably 10 more but my brain is only functioning at 47% right now- and there's still no break downs. Now tell me there's not a God all up in this place! He's spreading some serious peace and chill pills and we're all even smiling and liking each other, going places, and enjoying the sunshine. I can't promise the same for next week, unless the Lord continues to intervene- but let's just say that if God can relax this OCD uptight type A crazy woman, into this new me- more laid back, enjoying all these precious moments, basking in this stage- with no help or cooperation on my part, then He is certainly still in the business of miracles!

Thank you Father! 

That's all from the Bowmans for now... Hopefully I'll get a Sam update, including how fast he's growing up soon-- what a baby!!! He's amazing :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sam's Peeps and other firsts...

A day late and a dollar short seems to be the  name of the game right now!! But I've got some major catching up to do on our sweet baby Sam!

First of all, there was a slew of big brothers just waiting to meet Sam... they all were shipped out in their sleep and waited for the news all day. Lucky for Max and Jack, time doesn't really apply, but to Gabe, he knew there should be news, and just couldn't wait to know... finally, once Sam arrived, he talked his grandparents into bringing him over almost immediately- he was there by about 4:30pm! Gabe and Grandma and Grandpa were baby Sam's first visitors. They snapped lots of pictures and oohhed and ahhhed over his headful of hair!

Next, Max and Jack, along with Annie, Pop, Uncle Eli, and my dinner :) arrived. Max was so in love- it was like a scene from a movie. He was proud and beaming... kind of like me and Chad! Jack was so excited, he was screaming "baby Sam!" and giving him kisses all over. Chad had to hover to protect Sam from Jack, totally because Jack just didn't understand how gentle he needed to be- never has he shown any roughness or ill-will towards Sam... just love, bull-in-a-china-shop style. Of course Annie and Pop and Eli thought he was perfect- which he is- and everyone took turns holding him and being in awe of him.

Later in the weekend, my friends Jill and Danielle stopped by too, and of course, melted, because he is that precious. And from there, we took it really easy and remained low key. This is really the first time we took that route- typically we've had some visitors in the hospital and then lots right when we get home, but with the home birth, it just changed all that- I'm not sure why! We didn't scare anyone off or anything, but me and Sam did a lot of feeding and sleeping and Chad joined us for naps when he could. And then even when the big brothers came home, I took more time than I normally do just to soak in my baby. It was an incredible time because Chad and my mom were here running everything and playing with the little men, and I felt so good and wasn't sore at all, so I seriously got to just hold my baby close and smell him and take in his every inch. He was within a foot of my body at all times for the first 5 days! It was such a sweet time. I honestly don't know why us women are in such a hurry to get back into the swing of things, because doing the opposite was such a precious few days that I'll never get again... and that I'll never forget! I'm blessed to have people around me that made this

By Sam's 1 week day, Chad had returned to work and my mom stayed home (but remained on call if needed!) and I was itching to get out. It's very unlike me to stay at my house for a week straight so I needed an adventure. It was mother's day weekend and the weekend of Sam's munch n' meet, so I decided the little boys needed a hair cut... in the worst way! Typically, my cousin does all of our hair, but it's a longer drive than I was willing to make and I hadn't planned ahead at all, so we headed around the corner to the kid haircut place, Pigtales and Crew cuts, after making a stop at Dunkin Donuts of course... this was Sam's first outing besides his weigh in at the doctor, which was really like a 2 minute excursion, and obviously I had to train up a child in the way he should go, which obviously calls for donuts on the first outing. He was impressed.

This was how Max prepared Sam for his weigh in at the doc... gave him a book to read while he waited :)

Sam also had his first bath to celebrate his first week in the world!

The next day, Saturday, Sam's 8th day, was his munch n' meet that my sweet friend Danielle put together, along with some other sweet girlfriends-- Jolynn, Lisa, Anna, Heather, and Jenny. I'll do another post on this once I get the pictures from Danielle, but to say we were blessed and loved on is an understatement!

On Sunday, we made it to church for Mother's Day and then went to my aunt's house for lunch with my Dad's side of the family... my Dad's parents were there, along with their 6 great grand children (including my 3) and everyone enjoyed great weather, watched the boys play baseball, and held our sweet bundle. This was Sam's introduction to the Noblitt's and he did some of his best work wooing them... with his eyes closed :)

When Sam was 11 days old, I took all 3 boys to my last BSF bible study of the year... I missed the girls in my group BAD and they had prayed me all the way through my pregnancy- I was literally just like 8 weeks when it started, so I wanted them to meet Sam so bad! It was totally uneventful- I got us in and out of the car like I'd been doing it for weeks, we were even a few minutes early! AND then we joined the Prusa ladies for Chick-fila lunch... until Jack totally melted down like he was about to be 2... and then I ran to the safe haven of the minivan faster than you can say lickety-split!

The next day, with Chad's help, all 6 of us went to the last youth group of the year... once again, my sweet 6th grade girls have been so excited about this baby and before we broke for the summer, they needed to lay eyes on the little precious man! They were thoroughly impressed, as was my sweet co-leader, and I kept him tied to me in the moby wrap to keep hands off for a bit longer... I just let people peek and explained that they could all hold him in a few weeks, that I just wasn't ready for germs or to pass him around. Even as 12 year olds, they were totally on board with this and just stared at him in amazement! Some people are just baby people at birth, and we have a group full of those!

And then on Sam's 2 week day, we ventured to my mom's for the day, which included some shopping at the mall for new shoes for Max, and the first swim of the year... Sam was thoroughly impressed by this as well!

Basically, Sam is THE sweetest, most laid back baby. He's a great eater- he's gained over a pound and a half in 2 weeks... they usually just want you back to your birth weight by then, but our boy has jumped from 7lbs 1oz to 8lbs 8oz- he's also a great sleeper, barely gets upset and if he does, he just makes a noise or two for a moment and then chills again. He is pretty hot-natured, so doesn't love to be bundled except after baths, but does think cuddling and sleeping on my chest is the way to go. He's already a paci baby, although he spits it out as soon as he gets good and asleep. He sleeps for about 5 hours at night, eats, and then goes 4 more-- which makes for awesome nights for his mama as long as his reflux doesn't act up. He potentially has a lip and tongue tie, after being assessed by a lactation specialist, but his pediatrician doesn't think this is the case, so we'll see an ENT next week to have everything checked out. I keep waiting for vampire baby to strike or that lovely witching hour, but so far, he's a dream baby! Needless to say, we've all voted and we're in favor of keeping him! I seriously feel like God is playing favorites and somehow we made the list :) All I can do is say thank you Jesus again and again and again!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sweet Jack is 2!

I cannot believe our wild man Jack turns 2 today... in some ways he's aged me a good 20 years... you know, diving off things, scaling walls, driving his little coupe over a cliff... but in other ways, he's showed me how important it is to just sit and soak life in, he's slowed me down-- he's shown me love and joy and laughter in ways I've never known before there was Jack. Anytime I survey his still chubby hands, his legs, the light in his eyes, and watch how his brain works, I find myself basking in the glory of God-- because man, was God on his A-game the day he made Jack!

Unfortunately, Jack has really figured out how to act two... crying and hollering to get his way, make his opinion VERY clear, fighting tooth and nail to get his way. The terrible two's. But he's also figured out how to talk so clearly, he knows his letters, his numbers, all his colors, and can sing a bushel of songs. He is constantly figuring things out and he's become really independent-- wanting to do it all by himself... "Jack do it, JACK DO IT!" He's full of energy and doesn't stop unless he sleeps... and when he sleeps, he sleeps hard. The terrific two's. It amazing how this age can make you smile like crazy one minute and require a stiff drink the next... there's a reason I'm getting gray hairs... but man, that reason is cute!

We hit two major milestones this week-- one broke my heart and one is going to break me... the first is the paci: Jack has been a paci baby since the beginning and was rarely without it. He's even a pro at talking with it. But he also sucks on the thing so dang hard that he eventually puts a hole in and then all of a sudden he'll toss is at me and say "I don't like it". It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but once the paci get's a hole, it takes away the whole premise of a paci with air flowing in and out, making a whistling sound. Jack despises this. Well a couple days ago, they all got holes on the same day- like all 5 in his basket. It was nuts. I kept popping them in my mouth when he'd toss them at me and sure enough, it was broken. It ususally happened about once every 2 weeks, which means I'd buy a new pack or two every month, no big deal. But when they all fell apart on the same day, a day when our new baby wasn't even 2 weeks old and when the mama wasn't prepared to leave the house for any reason, we found ourselves at nap time with no paci. I expected gnashing of teeth, screaming and thrashing about, but he just laid down and slept. Certainly it was a mistake- he was a baby, my baby, for pete's sake... and he needed a paci, but then we found ourselves at bedtime without a paci and again, laid down and slept like an angel. It was no mistake- my baby was getting big and everyone was excited but me! If you ask Jack what happened to his paci he'll say "Paci broken, paci in trash, bummer!" It's adorable! If things get rough, he'll mention it briefly and we'll discuss what happened and then he's fine again. But just fyi, I'm still not fine. I wasn't prepared for this milestone!

The second is the potty- Jack is so ready- he tells you when he has "things" in his pants and needs changed, he knows all about the potty and flushing, he join me and Max in the bathroom ALL the time, and I just need to start the process. The other night, because Chad doesn't obsess with plans and methods and dates, he asked Jack if he needed to go potty, Jack said yes, Chad put him on the potty, AND just like that the child peed in it. There was no book. No discussion. Just pottying. And this is going to break me-- mainly because I despise potty training. Give me any other obstacle in parenting small people and I'll embrace it, but potty training, please NO! It's messy, obviously, it's a hassle, yes, but that isn't what gets me... what gets me is the loss of control. I know I'll find myself in impossible predicaments, hoisting myself and 4 boys into nasty public bathrooms, scurrying off the road, and running across the house at just the mention of peeing. I understand the argument of buying less diapers, but you see, with the diaper, I get to decide when he gets changed-- it's all on my time table, said the control freak. But alas, as soon as baby Sam settles a little more into life on the outside, we'll tackle potty training with Jack... and I'll fight it every step of the way.

For Jack's birthday today, my mom and Uncle Eli came over and while we had big plans to check out a new aquatic center, it was actually closed, so we found ourselves at CatchAir with 4 sweaty little boys... Gabe, Max, and Jack because they ran around and played like crazy people, and baby Sam because he's a hot natured little thing! Uncle Eli played the whole time and me and my mom watched and chatted and took pictures... I think we got the better end of the deal, but don't tell Uncle E! But I guess that's what happens when you give yourself the nickname of Fun Uncle Eli: "Funcleli". My brother Sam is coming in town this weekend to meet baby Sam and to celebrate Jack some more... but Jack is certainly up for as much cake/ cupcakes/ ice cream/ popsicles as is necessitated by many celebrations. (Btw, Jack did insist on a popsicle this morning for breakfast, and we couldn't resist such an adorable birthday boy's wish!)

When you ask Jack how old he is, this is how he does "2"!

Little Jack man, you are such a joy and we love you more and more each day. Thank you for filling our home with noise and love and laughter-- you bless us and we are proud to be your parents! Your Daddy is wrapped around your finger and Gabe and Max don't fare much better! Of course I'm putty when you say things like "Mommy, I need you!" and I miss my little shadow if you run off for too long! You are an incredible big brother to baby Sam- you took to it right away and beg to "hold it" all the time! And if you can't hold "it" you are kissing his head and feet incessantly. That is you, my boy- an incredible asset to our family and a marvelous display of God's brilliance! Love you so much-- there are no words!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


When I went into labor with Sam, I had this whole list of people who I planned to notify that we were in labor and then a second part of the list of people who'd get the news when baby arrived from us before it went on Facebook or anything like that. But I guess because of the timing of when labor started, I only notified our parents, Anna and Lisa, and then my friend Danielle. (Our parents obviously shared the news with our siblings as well.) By the time it was morning and an acceptable time for text messages, I was way past thinking about who should know- so it was a lost cause. It probably turned out to be for the best, due to the duration, because my mom, Chad's mom, and Danielle all shared the exact same feeling-- by lunch time, they were worried sick and thought something was wrong, but none of them wanted to check in and bother us while we were trying to bring a little person into the world. Thankfully nothing was wrong, but I just can't help but be thankful that we didn't tell anyone else until afterwards, because I can't imagine have a whole network of people worried sick! In hindsight, telling very few people that the process has started is the way to go!

Another thing we did that we'd never done before was not find out the sex of the baby. I really struggled with the idea of that on the front end- you know since I am one of the most type-A people, ever, ha! But once we decided that this was the route we were going, I never looked back. It was so fun and added so much anticipation and joy. IF (serious big huge IF) we ever do this again, we'll go that route for sure. When I pictured that baby swaddled and in it's bed, I pictured a girl, but when I pictured the baby in the carseat, it was always a boy. I had boy dreams and girls dream, and I just never had a feeling one way or another. Everyone else who shared their opinion thought it was a girl- mainly because it was so different- I carried different, the pregnancy was different, etc... except my friend Jill. She was certain it was a boy and even wrote on a note to me in April "pending baby boy #4"-- and she was right. When Sam was born and Chad said "it's a boy" it was so perfect. My only feeling was "that's exactly who it's supposed to be" and I scooped that baby up so fast. Oh he's perfection! In hindsight, not finding out the gender is certainly the way to go!

I have now delivered 3 babies and really couldn't have had 3 more different experiences if I tried! Max was very planned-- we attended natural child birth classes, had birth plans and books and bags packed. I knew exactly how things we were going to go and we were going to have him in the water at North Fulton Hospital. All went well until it didn't... it was a 55 hours long labor, the first 50 were natural, I missed 2 nights sleep, it took forever to progress, I HATED the water and how off balance it made me, and at the 50 hour mark, when I asked for the epidural and a young guy walked in my room with a huge needle, I professed my love to him. We slept for 5 hours, woke up and I pushed for about 30 minutes and then had a baby relatively easily, but by then, most of the epidural had worn off, so I felt plenty of the birth and then was able to walk myself to the bathroom after he was born. With the 1st baby, it is like a train drove through my body and then you get hit by exhaustion that you can't even comprehend. I don't care what anyone says, I will argue that going from no kids to 1 kid is WAY harder than all the subsequent additions. With Jack, my water broke at 35 weeks and no one was more shocked than me. I was not ready, didn't know where the carseat was, hadn't even thought about packing a bag, and I was super scared that his lungs wouldn't be ready. I got to Northside hospital with NO contractions, got checked in all smiles and ease, got my room, sat in the bed and watched HGTV all day while hanging out with Chad and Kellee, got to 10 centimeters, pushed for 1 and a half contractions and had a baby. I had no soreness and was up and about and showered the next day like nothing had happened. And then Sam was my home birth. In hindsight, the only thing I can say is that you're never really ready and you never really know how it's going to go-- I think it is so important to have a plan but to also have an open mind and people around you that you really trust. 

Lastly, back when I was single and had a clean car and spent most of my money on shoes, I worked at a church and was on staff with the youth. I had this one small group leader named Lindsey- and as the director of small groups, I obviously kept up with her some and appreciated her heart for the students but I didn't know her particularly well. But since then, she's married and had 2 boys of her own and moved up north- yet we're more in touch and in tune as mothers than we ever were before when we lived within miles of each other. God continues to lay ME on her heart at random times and she'll wake up and pray for ME and then check in afterwards and find out that something big was going on in my life. It is one of the coolest things ever and I'm so appreciative of her and God for giving me a prayer warrior like that. Well anyway, she caught up on my blog last night and then left me a comment "no pictures?" Oh myyyy!! In hindsight, poor baby #3 got gipped! So this is for Lindsey....