Monday, March 30, 2015

A 34th Birthday, a Second Birthday, and a Trip to the Dentist

Hannah is TWO!
March has been quite the month in our house.  Jim turned 34.  Hannah turned 2.  We've had lots of Stephens family visitors in and out.  Baby Clark #4 is growing up a storm, as is my ever expanding stomach.  My goal of sitting down to write once a week is clearly proving to be a difficult one.  I've been tutoring a lot on weeknights and teaching ACT classes on weekends.  My only real down time is when Hannah is napping during the day while Jack has his quiet time, and for the past two weeks, I've taken advantage of that time to nap myself.  The third trimester brings fatigue along with it--so far, it's not like the unbelievable exhaustion that I experienced during the first trimester but it sneaks up on me pretty quickly during the afternoon hours and having that extra hour or so of sleep during the day is amazing.

Making a giant birthday card for Jim

What more could a Dad want for his birthday?!
And then, a week later, this little one turned two!

We've had sneak peeks of spring, and just when we think the warm weather is here to stay, the snow creeps back in.  I've filled the house with tulips and daffodils, thinking that might help bring spring, but so far March has proved to be its usual, unpredictable self.  This was our backyard in early March:

Not too happy about having to come inside while the big kids were still playing in the snow!

We're at a good place with the little ones.  As is always the case before a new baby arrives, Jim and I often look at each other when Lilly, Jack and Hannah are all playing together nicely or when we're having a (mostly) civilized meal around the table, and ask ourselves why we're doing this again?!  But, having been through this three times now, I know that it's nice to welcome a baby into a house where things are running smoothly.  It's good that life with these three feels "normal."  As much as I know how crazy those first few months are, I'm dying to have a baby in the house again.  Our "baby Hannah" is no longer a baby.  She's still a great little snuggler and if you ask her for a cuddle at any point in the day, she usually responds with a "sure!" and comes running over for a hug.  Unfortunately, that hug lasts for maybe 10 seconds before she's off and running with Lilly and Jack, but it's still a hug.

Our weekends have been relatively quiet--birthday parties here and there, and there have been some busy tutoring and teaching days, but we've had plenty of lazy weekend days by the fire.  One Sunday morning, Jim and I actually sat by the fire and read (and dozed!) for a couple of hours while the little three entertained themselves.  The basement looked like a bomb went off at the end of the morning, but everyone was happy and unharmed, and all it took was a good half hour of cleaning up to get things back in order.    

In heaven, bouncing and sliding at Peter's birthday party. You can't see Hannah, but she is at the top of the slide about to join in the chaos.
Hannah's new dollhouse is a huge hit!
These are the Clark Family dolls that Ellie and I painted Hannah for her birthday.
Lifting dollhouse weights with Gigi
You can't make these moments up...a snapshot in time that I was lucky enough to witness one Saturday morning.
Playing their all time favorite game...dress up.  I'm always amazed...they have a basement full of toys and dressing up wins every time!
And then, I can't forget our trip to the dentist.  I made appointments for Lilly and Jack to have their teeth cleaned and of course, Hannah ended up with her own appointment after seeing the other two have their fun. And she loved every second of it.  All three of them keep asking to go back--if only I loved the dentist as much as they do!  I can't wait to remind them of this one day.

And so ends another busy month.  Here's a few more glimpses into Clark family life during March, doing typical March things.

Hannah, chatting on her graphing calculator phone while Jim does the taxes.
These three love any reason for a celebration.  St. Patrick's Day is no exception.