Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Nearly New Year! =)

Hello Friends and Family!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday! As is somewhat of a tradition with me, sending out Christmas cards or a Christmas email was an intention, but it just didn't happen! Life is busier than ever these days! But it's also fuller and more rich than ever. I thought I'd put a little update out there for folks to read...if you wanna. =)
The biggest highlight of this year was the birth of our beautiful little daughter, Kara Lynn, in late February. Although I guess I shouldn't say little...she was 10 lbs at birth! She arrived quite hastily, waiting only 10 minutes after Ryan and I made the mad rush to the hospital! (That is quite a story...) She has been a light in our lives and an absolute joy. It goes without saying that we all just adore her, and having a little girl is so incredibly fun for me! Her older brothers are so engaging and sweet with her, and surprisingly they aren't too rough with her...most of the time. =) Kara has a gorgeous head of red hair, which has delighted us all since the moment she was born. Her fun little personality emerges more every day, and we love that she has a little bit of feisty-ness, just as a redhead should! She is now 10 months old and always so much fun to watch...she army-crawls at top speed, loves to bop and "dance," and is now starting to try and pull up on things. We can tell it won't be long til she's cruising along furniture and walking. It's amazing to think that in just a matter of weeks she will be turning 1 year old! She is growing up much too fast, as children tend to do.
Our little Jacob is now a bit more than two and a half, and he's becoming more of a little boy and less a toddler every day! He is all boy and loves cars, trucks, trains, planes, and dinosaurs. He is so much fun and so stinkin' cute, despite the fact that a bit of the "terrible twos" are finally starting to kick in. Even when his mischievous, naughty side comes out we often have a hard time not laughing at his antics! He is definitely developing more of a stubborn streak and a determination to get what he wants, and we can't say there is a lack of brotherly fighting that goes on between him and his older brother. But they love each other and have a lot of fun playing together...hearing them laugh together in their room is one of the best sounds ever! =) Jake is a very affectionate little boy and we love that he is always giving or asking for hugs and kisses. Even though he's not the baby of the family anymore, he still gets doted on quite a bit! =)

Thomas is almost 5 and a half and has morphed into a full-fledged big kid! He started kindergarten this year, and even though he's a summer baby and one of the younger kids in his class, he is super tall and stands about a head above all the other kids! He has loved being in school, and even over this Christmas break he has talked about how he's excited to go back. He's learning so much all the time and we are amazed when we watch him, once our first little baby, now learning to read, write and do math! He's a social butterfly and always talkative...he's rarely shy and always has something to say to anyone he meets! He always keeps us laughing with his silly and clever remarks. He is also a big help to his mom now that he has two younger siblings! 

I've spent the year learning how to be a mother to 3, and it has certainly been more work than I've ever done in my life! But I've adapted and even though life is always busy and more than just a little crazy, I'm happy to say our transition to being a family of 5 has gone well. Carving out time for myself is difficult these days, but I'm always trying to find a few minutes here and there to do things I enjoy. I love photography and have a fabulous camera that I received as a gift from Ryan last year. I spend lots of time using it to capture photos of our beautiful kids, and I'm always learning more about photography and trying to improve my skills. It's been awhile since I've done much singing, but this summer I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone (WAY out!) and sang in a local contest, just for kicks. I didn't win or anything, but it was a lot of fun and a total thrill to be up on a stage again! I remembered just how much I love performing and I hope to push myself to do more things like that in the year to come. Overall, I'm really just a big homebody, and some of my favorite times are just watching movies after the kids are in bed! 

Ryan has kept quite busy at work, as always, and we are grateful that his drywall contracting company has continued to have plenty of business. He works incredibly hard to make sure of that! Besides work, he's been keeping up with his favorite things like snowboarding, motorcycling and now he's getting certified in scuba-diving for an upcoming family vacation to Hawaii. It's a good thing he's certifying with his brother because I am way too chicken! Ryan is definitely the adventurer of the family! He is an awesome daddy to our 3 kiddles and he is particularly smitten with our first daughter...which is so fun for me to watch! He loves to rough-and-tumble with the boys and they go running to him when he walks in the door every day. He is also a big help to me with the added work that comes with our growing family...I can definitely say he does the dishes more often than I do, and he is a really, *really* fabulous cook!

Ryan and I also celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary this month! We didn't celebrate with a lot of fanfare (Yet! Hawaii in April!), but the family we have created together over the last decade is our greatest anniversary gift possible, and our truest source of pride.

10 years of being a family has passed so quickly! There are ups and downs all along the way, but we can decidedly say that we are greatly blessed in our lives. We are so grateful for our healthy, happy, beautiful children, our wonderful parents, siblings and extended families, our home, our steady job, and most especially, for the gift of Christ in our lives. Even after Christmas is over, Christ's light continues to shine, brighter than any in the world, and His love and sacrifice are the greatest gifts we have ever received. We wish you all a spirit of light and love in your lives, and we hope the coming year will be your happiest and most fulfilling yet!


The Laidlaws

Thursday, December 29, 2011

No Longer Missing In Action...For Now! =)

So I've logged my record longest absence from blogging...almost a year! I can honestly say I've considered giving it up entirely, since it's often hard to squeeze in time when there are always so many other things I have to get done. But, going back through and reading old posts I've written, I've remembered how much I enjoyed it! So I'll see what I can do about getting back into it. No promises though! =) I did have a couple of posts I wrote months and months back that for some reason I never I thought, better to post late than never! =) Those are below. I'm also working on a little end-of-the-year family update for all ya'll to read. Didn't get one done before Christmas, but a Happy New Year's letter works too, right? If you know me, you know that punctuality is definitely *not* my strongest suit! =)

Flashback: A Late Announcement (Written 4/27/11 and Previously Unposted)

A very, very long overdue and very important and wonderful announcement:

My sweet baby daughter, Kara Lynn Laidlaw, came into the world on the morning of Sunday, February 27th, at 5:55 am. She was 10 lbs 1 oz and 20.5 inches long. Perfect, healthy and beautiful, with a full head of reddish/auburn hair that we absolutely adore! It's very close to my same color and I'm so delighted that she has that little piece of me. =)

Of course most everybody knows about her arrival already, but I couldn't pick up blogging again without making the announcement official here first. She has been a joy and a blessing. It is certainly an adventure learning how to handle a newborn, a toddler and a preschooler all at once, but I'm surprised at how well I've been able to handle it all! I'm no supermom mind you, but I've been able to manage the chaos better than I expected.

So today my baby girl turned 2 months old. There's no getting around saying it --- time is flying. She looks so different and has grown and changed so much. She's so sweet and really quite simple in her tinyness. Compared to her brothers her needs seem so basic and easy to take care of. No disciplining, no breaking up fights, no trying to entertain or any of that. She just needs to eat, sleep, do her diaper duty, and get some snuggles and loves. That's it. I'm trying to enjoy this time when she's so new, but of course with 2 older kids it's harder than it's ever been to slow down and soak in the sweet tinyness of a newborn. And now she's not even really a newborn anymore! Before I know it she'll be crawling, walking, running, talking. I look at my older children and know its true. I look at my firstborn and marvel that he's almost 5, almost a kindergartener, learning to read and write. I look at Jacob, who such a short time ago was my little baby. Before Kara arrived I used to say I had a heart time knowing he wouldn't be my baby anymore. Sure enough, when Kara was born, he seemed to become such a big boy to me all of a sudden. It almost broke my heart a little that he seemed to change in my eyes so quickly, that he lost his position of being the youngest, the littlest, the baby. It's the way life goes. But giving up seeing your babies as babies, even to another of your babies, is hard.

Anywho...I should hie me to bed. I've had so many things running through my mind lately that I'd really love to start writing/blogging again, but we'll have to see if I can make room in life to get them down. I hope so.

I love my baby girl and I'm excited to finally have a sweet little daughter. Welcome to life sweet Kara!

Flashback: Man, My Boys Are Handsome!!! (Written 2/22/11 and Previously Unposted)

Really though. I know every mother is prejudiced when it comes to her own children, but seriously...

You can't deny it. =)

Lately I've been so busy trying to get things done before this baby girl comes, that I fear these adorable boys of mine don't get enough attention from their mommy. When my nesting instincts are in full swing I start to feel a little mind is racing a million miles a minute with my to-dos, and my very-pregnant-and-not-too-agile body lags behind in accomplishing those tasks. Plus my normal night-owl power is fading....nooooo! The battle of my mind vs. my body drives me nuts! I'm really on countdown now and this little girl could choose to make her arrival any day. But, I'm trying to spend more time being with my little boys before their world gets really turned upside down.

I'm not that great at it, but I'm tryin'.

Right now their cute little noggins are off in dreamland, so I gotta get offa here and go do stuff!

But I had to post a couple shots of them. I hope to find a chance to sit down and write a few of their goings-on before their little sis arrives. They are growing and changing at lightning speed, as always. Jacob is saying new words all the time (A current favorite: Iron Man!). I registered Thomas for Kindergarten a couple weeks ago (WHA???).

Boy do I crazy love my boys.

Crazy love is a good them, but they make me *crazy*!

(I just try to remind myself that I'll miss the craziness someday.)  =)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It Flies It Does

Today my baby Jake is exactly 21 months.

I realized earlier that means he'll be two years old in just three months.

Two years old?


I wish there was a new way to phrase it that hasn't already been used, but honestly, where has the time gone?

I still remember driving to the hospital when I was in labor with him. (A little scary then. Pretty funny now. It involved a phone call from Ryan to his Mom, a nurse, to ask what to do in case he had to deliver our baby on the side of the road.)

I still remember the quiet hours in the hospital room, just he and I playing lullabies for my new little Jacob, admiring at his sweet face, and even what the light coming through the window looked like.

I remember all the insecurity of being a new mother of two, trying to figure out how to take care of two little ones, how I had to learn to accept the fact that I couldn't (always) do two things at once! The anxiety I felt when I had to leave the house alone with both boys for the first it didn't go so well and I thought "How will I ever do this? How do other mothers ever do this?" (Still looking for answers to that one, but the one answer I have come up with: Just embrace the chaos.)

But in all the busy-ness of parenting two children, most of the days of these last two years are much more blurry than I would like to admit. They've passed and blurred and faded much faster than I remember them doing with my first child. Though I know its not unusual, I feel guilty about it. That has probably been one of my biggest struggles since becoming a mother of two...the lack of time to sit and soak it all in with your child. I remember with Thomas I would sit holding him for hours when I didn't have to, I would watch him sleeping all the time. I didn't really worry about rushing off the first moment I could to do everything else possible while he slept. I probably took hundreds of photos of Thomas sleeping, whereas I only have a handful of Jacob. I haven't been as good at *lingering* with Jacob, enjoying those moments. I want to remember forever how he looks when he's perfectly peaceful, off somewhere in dreamland. And now, with this third one on the way, my little girl, I can't help but wonder how hard it might me to just sit for a few minutes and enjoy her newness, her littleness, her delicateness. I want to be able to do that with all my kids! To experience all the phases of their lives, without ever being distracted, without forgetting so easily. But I know it isn't possible. I'm only one person, I can't live three lives, four lives! I wish I could.
Jake is my baby.

I honestly struggle a little bit accepting that he won't be my baby anymore, my "littlest," as I sometimes call him.

He'll be a big brother soon.

He'll have to be patient sometimes when his baby sister needs me more.

He won't be my baby anymore.

And very soon, he'll be two.

And it will just go quicker from there. That's the thing about just gains momentum, it doesn't slow up, it doesn't eventually stay steady, it just goes faster.

I've said many times, I hope they have home videos in heaven. Because no matter how hard I try to document my children's lives in this life...and believe me, I try!...I can't possibly capture it all. No collection of photos or videos will ever truly be able to show me everything. I will miss things. I will forget things. There will be funny moments, poignant moments, common but priceless moments, that will fade eventually with the imperfections of human memory.

But I just can't accept that.

So if I can, during life eternal, I will spend days and hours and lifetimes reliving again and again all the sweet (and even not-so-sweet) days of my babies' lives.

The Countdown is On!

Today I am 35 weeks pregnant with Little Miss Laidlaw.


This pregnancy has gone fast, incredibly, oddly fast. I said that about my 2nd pregnancy, but this one is even more speedy. This pregnancy has been particularly interesting also, because, well...

It was more than a third over before I even knew.

Let me just say, Baby #3 has always been "planned"....Ryan and I have always known we wanted at least 4 kids. Maybe 5. (Maybe.) So I will not say this pregnancy was not "planned." It was just....unscheduled. =)

"So....." Someone might ask, "Were your other pregnancies....scheduled?"

Ummmmm....yes. =)

Very much so. We lucked out in the timing department.

But, I didn't expect that to happen with every pregnancy, so I was perfectly happy when in July I suspected and then confirmed that I was indeed pregnant.

The thing was, I had no idea how far along I was. Like...none. I had only stopped nursing Jacob in May, after he turned one, and Mother Nature had not yet, ahem, returned me to my regular course of nature, if yaknowwhatimean. So I had nothing to go off of!

I called my doctor to make the appointment...Dr. Young, my same doc from my first two...and I told them I guessed I was maybe 10 weeks along. But really I had no clue.

I went to my first appointment. My Doc always does an ultrasound at the first appointment.

Well guess what?

According to measurements (or something), he estimated I was already 15 1/2 weeks along!

I felt very surprised and to be honest, a little embarrassed! I had obviously not been in very good touch with my body, or my intuition! I had been having mild nausea, the same I had with my 2 boys, but it did not seem to me that it had been going on that long. And normally my nausea finally peters out at around 16 weeks. So I was almost done!

Of course, being so far along, I couldn't help but wonder....

Could they already tell me the gender?

I asked the doc. He asked if I really wanted to know. Um, YES!!! He teased me, asking if I was sure I didn't want a surprise this time? Um, NO!!! And then he typed "I'm a girl" on the screen.

I was very excited, and, probably a little know me. =) But I couldn't help feeling a tad doubtful...I wasn't as far along as one usually is when they have the gender ultrasound. Plus, those were words I had often wondered if I'd ever see...I've often said that I've always had this feeling that I'd end up with all boys. I told my husband that if we never had a daughter biologically we would have to adopt one. Because I cannot go through life without a daughter!!!

Well, I have now had two more ultrasounds, and the tech assured me both times it is indeed a girl. Its a good thing, because I have already been stocking up on girly stuff!

I still can't believe sometimes that I'm having a seems surreal to me, almost like its a first-time pregnancy in a way. It will be so different...I've never been mother to a daughter! I'm almost a little scared, because aside from the normal mothering tasks that I've already been doing for 4 and half years, I'll have a new job...I'll be the prominent example to my child, of what she can and will become. My boys watch their daddy, copy their daddy, they want to do all the things Daddy does. I've never had the same responsibility Ryan does in showing and teaching his sons how to be a man. But now, I will be the one to show and teach my daughter how to be a woman! It makes me think a lot about how much better I want to be, and how much better I want her to be than me. Its a very weighty, important responsibility to me and I just hope that I can do it justice!

So here's to 5 more weeks...I'm hoping a tad less. =)

P.S. If I remember, I wanna have Ryan take a baby belly photo of me today, or soon...I haven't taken a single one this pregnancy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Oh, and Did I Mention...

I'm pregnant!

Actually quite pregnant!

Like less than 6 weeks away from being due pregnant!

(The whole world knows this already. But no matter how late, a blog announcement simply had to be made!)

I'm going to be a mom of three.


(I won't deny I'm a little scared. Okay, kind of a lot scared.)

But I'm excited, truly truly, especially because I have a whole lotta this in my future:

I love my two little boys so much, *SO* much, but I am so happy that I get to be the mother of a daughter!

Prepare to hear a lotta schmoozing about this baby girl in the future!

Hello World!!!

And Hello 2011!!!

(Wha? Wow. I didn't write a single post for the whole last half of 2010. Go me!)

Well, I've been arguing with myself about it for quite some time.....

To blog, or not to blog?

Because you know, like everyone else on the planet, I am quite bzzzzzzzzzy.

All. The. Time.

And I could easily just erase blogging forever from what I now call my "Infinite To-Do List"...

"One less thing, woohoo!!!"

But you know, I think I miss it...

So, I guess this means I'm starting up again!

(Me to Self: "Good luck with that Darce.")