We are getting really excited for Christmas in our house! Anytime we talk about it, Sam gets so giddy he nearly loses his breath! I love it! Christmas just isn't the same when you're an adult, but having little kids who look forward to it brings back some of the same feelings I felt when I was little. I absolutely LOVE that they (mostly Sam) are getting into it. The anticipation of Santa and presents... I just love it. I have had more fun with getting their gifts and wrapping them this year than ever before. It's the first year Sam has actually asked for things and has had an understanding of the holiday and Santa, so it's the first year we will be doing the whole Santa thing.
We are extremely bummed/sad/disappointed that the Meyers will not be with us this year like we thought, but we are going to do our best to replicate the holiday we usually spend with all our family and enjoy it as the tiny family we will be this year, all on our own. We are going to have a little Christmas Eve thing and let the boys open one present (their PJ's of course) and then when they're in bed, "Santa" will come and leave all their presents under the tree.
And I've been talking about the excitement of Santa and presents, but of course we have not forgotten what the season is all about. On Christmas Eve we will be doing a "lesson" about the birth of the Savior and I'm sure, along with all Sam has been learning at church, he will love it.
Speaking of Sam and church, Sam will be starting Sunbeams in two weeks! I cannot believe my BABY will be in Primary! Crazy! He has been going for half the time the past couple of weeks so he can ease into it and the Sunbeams teacher has told us he is one of the most reverent in the class. It doesn't surprise me. Our little Sam has always been so grown-up and seems way too old for nursery now. Josh will miss his brother in there, but he's so independent now I'm sure he will be just fine.
And since this is considered our "Christmas card," I'll give updates on everyone. Josh is still our little runt of a fighter and loves to rough-house. Sam doesn't always appreciate it, but Daddy sure loves it. Hopefully he doesn't try to rough up Luke too much. Between him and the cat, I'm a little worried. But Josh is also very lovable and loves giving hugs and kisses, and loves his fuzzy stuffed elephant he sleeps with every night. One of my favorite things to see is him cuddling and hugging it, just like Sam does with all his "buddies" (his little stuffed animals he carries with him everywhere and sleeps with).
Josh is still extremely slow on his speech. Actually, he has hit a wall and isn't really progressing at all. He says things like "uh-oh" and "ouch," and makes sounds, but he will not say a single word voluntarily, never calls anything by name, and when he does "talk," it's just pointing and a low grunting that all sounds the same. He will only repeat a word you want him to say about 20% of the time, and when he does, most of the time it doesn't even sound like the word. Mostly when you urge him to say even the simplest word, he just does his Joshie grunt.
Last time I talked about this I mentioned one of our concerns was the possibility of fluid in his ears, which is a common thing for little kids who aren't talking. They put tubes in their ears and--wa-la--they start talking. But Josh had his last evaluation two days ago with the Arizona Early Intervention Program to determine the level of his need and they did the hearing test and it came back that Josh hears beautifully, with no interference. So once they get scoring back from their tests, we will determine what he needs done, if any at all. They told me that even without the results, they're pretty sure from their observances that he will need some sort of speech therapy, because it's very clear that he wants to communicate and talk, but can't properly. And by this age, he should be showing some sort of progress. As I mentioned before, he is scoring very high in every other area, which we are happy about, but just needs some help in communication. So we will be finding out the results to that in the next couple days and let everyone know!
The pregnancy is...still going. Physically, I am VERY ready for it to be over. I'm huge and stretched beyond my bounds, can barely move, and have constant feet/hands in my ribs. But in every other way I feel so unprepared. I have absolutely nothing ready that needs to be ready and have SO much to get done in the next two weeks before I deliver. It's actually quite overwhelming, especially because our family has been hit with the wretched flu and it's been making its rounds to each of us, therefore halting my progress on accomplishing anything around the house. There is so much to do, I don't even know where to start. So until I have everything accomplished that needs to be done, I will in no way feel ready to have this baby. So during the next two weeks I will be doing all I can so that when it's time for Luke to come, it's as stress-free as possible!
And yes, I did say two weeks (two weeks from tomorrow, actually). After much contemplation and prayer, we have decided to follow the doctor's urging and get induced. At my appointment yesterday we scheduled it for Thursday, January 6. That's only five days before my due date, and I had both Sam and Josh five days before my due date, so I wanted to do it a couple days before that, just to be safe, but that was the soonest that week that either of my OBs will be available to deliver.
We had a lengthy conversation with my doctor yesterday about the procedure and how it works, and that helped ease my fears a little, since all I had to go on before was other people's opinions, but I am still nervous. Just because every woman is different and every labor is different, and I have no idea how it will go for me or what to expect. I'm hoping that since I'll be at the point I was at when I had my other children, when they break my water my body will be so ready that labor will start immediately...and happen normally and move at a quick pace.
But that's just my prayers. I have no idea what will happen and I do know that anything is possible and I need to be prepared for anything...even a higher amount of pain that could lead me to getting an epidural, which every fiber of my being is turned off to (just going from past experience).
Also, I need to be prepared for the fact that because it's scheduled five days before, I could very likely go into labor on my own before that...which would be GREAT and ideal...IF I could get to the birthing center in time.
For any of you who don't know why I was thinking about induction in the first place, it's because of how far we live from the birthing center/hospital. The hospital used to be about an hour and fifteen minutes away, but since I've had Josh the birthing center moved and now it's almost a two hour drive. When I went into labor with Josh it went very quickly and I made it to the hospital just in time. And those things coupled with the fact that with each baby your labors usually move more quickly, my doctor strongly urged it.
We went back and forth, and for a while I was so set on letting it all happen naturally and when it "wanted" to that I kept telling myself that "as long as I leave at the very first sign of labor, I'll be just fine." But I know women in my situation have said that before and weren't so lucky. So even though I didn't want to "force" labor to start when my body wasn't ready and didn't want to up the chance that I'd need medication, etc., more than anything I don't want to have my baby on the side of the road. So after weighing it out, we realized that the "risks" of induction are far more acceptable than the safety risks of not being able to make it to the birthing center in time.
So that's that. And yesterday we took a tour of the new birthing center and I am extremely impressed. I loved it. SO much better than the old hospital. I love that it's very family oriented and they promote baby staying with mom and dad all the time. They do EVERYTHING in the room with you and only take the baby out for the circumcision (if you want one). It's just one nice room you stay in the whole time (LDR all in one room) and there is even a bed for Dave to sleep on instead of the uncomfortable pull-out chair. I also love their attitude of breastfeeding and their belief that as soon as the baby is born, he needs to be placed skin-to-skin, etc. It's also very quiet and low-stress--quite a different feel from the hospital I gave birth to Josh at. So, all-in-all I'm trying to stay positive and think it will be a good experience!
That's all that's going on with us for now. I will post again after Christmas, most likely with pictures. :)