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Just As We Are

September 21, 2015

IMG_4651I’m not sure why, but after you become a parent it opens the doors to complete strangers asking the most personal of questions. Before having kids when I would see someone with a baby the most I would comment was saying “Oh, how precious. How old?” I feel like that is a perfectly fine statement and question to ask. But, then there are the questions and/or statements that are much more personal and sometimes rude or inappropriate. The most frequent statement I get is this, “Ahh, two boys. Are you going to keep going for a girl?” And there it was. The assumption that our family is not complete without a boy AND a girl. Here’s the thing, we do want more children, and if we are blessed to have a little girl then that is amazing and we will be so thankful. However, if we have four children and they are all boys we will be just as thankful and feel equally blessed to be raising up men of God. Why is it a societal norm to have a certain number of kids and expecting that you must have a certain ratio of genders?

I can tell you that I absolutely ADORE being a mom of boys. There is something about the sweetness of a mommy and son relationship. My eldest is so kind, tender hearted, he loves helping me and he’s very intuitive. With my Lupus he can tell when I’m not feeling well, sometimes he will ask “are you okay mom?” when he notices that I’m not my usual self. When I tell him I’m not feeling well the first thing he does is pray for mommy to feel better. Seriously, could my heart melt anymore? My youngest is almost a year old and he is the biggest momma’s boy, and I wouldn’t change it for anything! He’s super cuddly and also stubborn, he will be our bruiser who attempts any and all things. I’m also about 100% sure that he will be the child who I miss his first steps because he will intentionally do it when my back is turned, he’s such an adorable little stinker!

Parenting is no small feat. But parenting boys has challenges that are far different from parenting girls. Here’s the thing, boys are crazy, messy, loud, high energy, into everything, curious, and sometimes stinky (oh the teen years, please someone send me all the scented candles! Ha!). BUT, they are also lego building, super hero fighting, car and sports loving, goofy, funny, creative, loving, kind hearted, and sweetest little blessings ever! I look at the opportunity to raise my two boys up to be honorable, generous, compassionate, unique, creative and men of God as the biggest journey and most important task given to me! For all the families that have a daughter, I want to raise my boys up to be the men of chivalry that will love, respect and honor the women in their lives.

So the answer to the question that strangers ask me is simply this: Yes, I want more children. Do I want a girl? The biggest thing is that I don’t ever want my boys to feel like we were disappointed or wanted something else. Because I couldn’t imagine life without the two amazing blessings we already have in our boys! I want whatever blessings God will give us! Our family is complete and whole because ever child is a perfect gift from God!

It’s hard to believe that in a about a week my littlest guy will be four months old! Where does the time go? Just like I did with Eli, I took a few months off from blogging to get adjusted to our new normal. With my first post back I wanted to take the time to write about Ephraim’s birth.

{Don’t worry, I’m not an overshare-er when it comes to that sort of thing} 

After two years we are finally a family of 4!

After two years we are finally a family of 4!

With Eli my husband made a video while we were at the hospital, documenting the family that came to visit and those precious moments when we got to hold him for the first time. We love having those memories captured and did the same for Ephraim as well. The video is not done being edited, but once it is I will gladly be sharing it with you.

Well to start off, this pregnancy was much harder than my first. Granted I was four years older so that definitely plays into it I’m sure! But, I also didn’t know that I had Lupus with my first pregnancy. Thankfully, my Lupus tends to be less active during pregnancy, so even though this time around it was much harder, I am grateful that overall everything went well.

I love the excitement in Eli's eyes! He loves his brother!

I love the excitement in Eli’s eyes! He loves his brother!

I was induced at 38 weeks this time around and that was completely different. I liked it, yet didn’t like it all at the same time. With my first I went into labor on my own at 39 weeks. I loved the excitement of getting to call family and tell them we were headed to the hospital. This time it was nice that our family got to plan ahead of time for the delivery. But, man was it hard sleeping the night before being induced! It’s like being a kid again the night before Christmas! My mind was constantly spinning thinking about the next morning.

We headed to the hospital around five in the morning. It was super weird just walking into the hospital knowing I was having a baby that day and yet I wasn’t currently in any pain like I was last time since I showed up to the hospital in labor with my first. Another thing that was super weird was being able to sit in our room at the hospital and watch tv since I was waiting for the induction to start. They said to rest while I waited, but that wasn’t going to happen! Once they began to induce me everything progressed rather quickly. My labor started around 7:00AM and Ephraim was born at 1:20PM.

Hello my sweet boy!

Hello my sweet boy!

Those moments after he was born was absolutely perfect. Our oldest had to go to the NICU for a few hours. They literally handed him to me for a few seconds and then took him away, I didn’t see him again for about seven hours. It was horrible! But this time around everything went so smoothly! I got to hold him, cuddle him and introduce him to his big brother and the rest of our family! No NICU visits for us this time! Yay! It was truly wonderful!

 

Christmas 2014

December 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

It’s that time of year again when families send out their Christmas cards. Well, this is the fourth year that our family has opted out of the Christmas card and instead made a Christmas video. We absolutely love making these videos, it’s a lot of fun and we get to capture precious moments with our kiddos while making great memories.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

 

Layman Christmas 2014 from Chase Layman on Vimeo.

I am four weeks away from meeting my second child! It’s an amazing feeling knowing that we are so close, especially since this was a very long journey. With both of our boys we were not the lucky ones to conceive quickly. The first time around it took us seven months to get pregnant, while that is certainly not long compared to some people’s journeys it definitely is longer than we expected for being young and healthy. Little did we know that I had Lupus and it was playing a factor into me getting pregnant. This time around we were aware that it might take a while. But, I will say even though I thought it would take a while I did not expect it being a two-year wait.

Maternity_11I had weird symptoms for about four years off and on, but nothing that would tie anything together for the doctors to think, hmmm… maybe it’s Lupus. After my oldest was born I had a rough recovery and then around the time he was eight months old all the symptoms I had previously hit at once and more. By the time he was a year and a half I was diagnosed, finally. Truthfully, I was just glad to finally have a name, a thing, a reason for everything. I could finally know what I was working with. Getting any diagnosis is scary, especially one like Lupus since it is so mysterious and can attack any part of your body. It’s hard to predict and hard to treat. But, God gave me a peace from the beginning. My story is from Him, He has everything in control and Lupus is just part of my story and I have come to terms with that. He has plans for me!

Since I was young, one of the first things that the doctor asked was if I wanted to have anymore children. There was no question that I did, we had always talked about wanting to have a large family. But, it was going to have to wait… for the time being. Lupus patients can have safe pregnancies and healthy babies, but the best thing to do is first get it under control before putting your body through the stress of pregnancy. So that meant that I spent the next year working with the doctor to get everything controlled and to a point that I could get pregnant. That was hard, because by then in our ideal world we would have already been trying for another baby. Being told yes, but not right now is very trying…

After a year we finally got the okay from the doctor, everything looked good and we could try for our second child! Yay! And then came the next year… I honestly thought, oh it will take a while, but probably not longer than it took the last time. Well, it took exactly a year before we were pregnant. Since it was such a long wait I truthfully was in shock when I had a positive pregnancy test! You wait that long and eventually you start to think of it as a distant future thing, when it finally meets your present it’s so exciting you can’t believe it.

Fast forward a few months and I am sitting here, my oldest will be four next month and my youngest will be born within the next four weeks. It was definitely not the plan we had envisioned for our family, we had always pictured a two to three-year age gap. But, God has a much better, more beautiful plans than we can make for ourselves. Will we get to have four kids like we always imagined? I don’t know, and at first that saddened me. But now, I know that we will be given the number of children that God had planned for us from the beginning. If that means two, three or four it doesn’t matter, because whatever His plans are for me I am thankful! I am thankful to be called Mom and thankful for the two amazing little boys that God has blessed me with already.

“No Mom, it’s okay. I want to suck my thumb.” 

2014-07-08 19.28.43

The first Lego set he built all by himself

My child actually said this to me this morning when I asked him to take his thumb out of his mouth. I couldn’t help but crack up laughing. Of course son, I know you want to suck your thumb, that’s why you do it. I never expected him to answer me with that kind of response though! When did he become a tiny adult? I mean seriously, it feels like overnight he has gone from a baby in diapers to this grown up kid with opinions of his own!

Honestly, I love watching him grow! But, I’m not sure how ready I am for this growing up thing, and the day that he thinks he doesn’t need moms help anymore. It’s every parents struggle, you are thrilled to watch them grow, learn and begin to do things for themselves. But, inevitably they grow up and these years of playing legos for hours, helping tie their shoes and playing super heroes will be behind us and they will be young adults facing new sets of challenges, surprising me with their sense of humor and wisdom. I don’t think that there will ever be a season during this parenting journey where you aren’t surprised by the new things your kids have learned or by how quickly the time has gone. It’s just part of parenting.

Yes, I hate how quickly time goes. Yes, I would love to keep him small for just a little while longer. But, if I did that then I would miss out on the precious moments that come with each new age. I would have missed out on a morning of him cracking me up with his fun personality and sense of humor, seriously, he is hilarious! I think the best thing to remember is that our children will grow up, that’s just how life goes. But, there is so much joy to be had in ever stage of life. Just be in the moment and enjoy every minute of it!