Thursday, September 17, 2009

31 Weeks

The belly, 31 weeks

Yes, I'm sure I'm only 31 weeks, but thanks for asking. It gets funnier every time I hear it.
My doctor says that he is measuring large and suspects that he'll come early.
I'm thinking he'll just be another huge Sharp boy, and I'm not expecting to go into labor until the turkey hits the table on Thanksgiving (making him 8 days late). I think I'll still want green bean casserole, even if I'm in labor.
So, tell me, when are you thinking he'll come? Lock in your votes now.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dear Ei,

My Sweet Ei,

Today you turn 4 years old. In some ways it seems like you should still be my tiny baby, but you are so grown up that I often think of you as even older than 4.

When Jackson was still pretty little (about 5 months old) I took a little drive to the store by myself. I didn't get out much without him, and I had thought it would be really relaxing to spend some time alone. I got in the car and turned on the heat. As soon as the air in the car warmed up, I began to feel really sick--I mean, REALLY sick. I don't get carsick except when I'm pregnant so I decided to buy a pregnancy test while I was at the store. When I got home I took the test, meaning for it to be my little secret. No need to tell the world if it's a false alarm, right? I hadn't even had time to wash my hands when I noticed the two pink lines. I read the box to be sure: two lines=pregnant. Since the recommended time had not passed to read the test I told myself not to panic--maybe it would fade in a minute or so. When it didn't, I knew. I was pregnant. I cried. I was still very much new to this whole mothering thing. I wasn't sleeping through the night. I wasn't eating hot meals. I was still unsure of how to manage a baby and a grocery cart at the same time. How could I possibly handle another baby? I think I must have sat on the bathroom floor and cried for at least half an hour before I decided I would soon be missed. I tidied myself up and went about the day, unsure of how to tell your Daddy that he was about to be a daddy again. I told Aunt Becca first. Then, when I had given myself a couple of hours to digest the idea, I told Daddy. I prepared him for news I wasn't sure he was going to like. I'll never forget his response: "How could I be upset about a baby?" Suddenly, this whole second-baby thing seemed so much more manageable. I wasn't doing it alone. Daddy would be right alongside me, as would all of our family and friends. From that moment on, I never even considered crying about being pregnant again. I was scared, sure. And tired, absolutely. But I was so happy. I was also fiercely defensive for you. People joked about my little "oops" baby, and I adamantly explained that you were well-planned, just not by me. No, you weren't in my plans, little man, but God knew that our family needed you. And, boy, was He right.

You dropped into our world and instantly felt like you'd been a part of us forever. I think we might have called you Ethan once or twice before Jackson re-named you Ei. You became "Baby Ei" and would be until we dropped the "baby" and left it just Ei. You had this round bald head and ears that stuck out, and you looked exactly like Charlie Brown from behind. You adored Jackson from the beginning--no one could make you smile the way he could (and the feeling was mutual). You were on the move from the beginning, and I almost can't remember a time when you didn't talk in full sentences because you started talking so early. And your laugh. Oh, Ei, you didn't just laugh. You cackled. And your whole body laughed. You shook all over and turned red in the face and couldn't breathe you laughed so hard. It was impossible to be in the room with you and not laugh along with you. We started saying that your cuteness would keep you out of trouble. 4 years later, I'm sure we were right. You are so rotten, Mr. Ei. You tease and pick and stay on the verge of trouble, but your precious laugh still gets you out of trouble. Everyone who meets you is charmed. Your Sunday School teacher from last year still goes out of her way to talk to you. Your Bible School teacher made a point of telling me how much she adored you. People who barely know you fall in love with your mischievous smile and funny mannerisms. I can't tell you how many times someone has said to me, "I'd take Ei home with me in a heartbeat," or something similar. I always beam with pride. And you and your brother Jackson? It melts my heart to see the two of you becoming such good friends. You tell me often that Jackson is your best friend, and I hope that's true forever. You love each other so well.

You know how sometimes someone surprises you with something wonderful, when it isn't even your birthday or Christmas? Those are the best kinds of presents because they are so unexpected, and because it usually means the giver is so sure you'll love this particular gift that he just can't wait for a big occasion to give it to you. That's you, Ei. I had always planned on having more children. I knew I wanted more babies--someday. I really think that God had an idea for a great little person, and He was so eager to present it to me that it just couldn't wait until I thought to ask for it. You are my perfect little surprise. If I could have planned all my children to be surprises (which seems like an oxymoron, I guess), that's exactly what I would have done. I couldn't have planned anything as marvelous as your birth. I couldn't have designed a better relationship between brothers. I couldn't have imagined a more precious child. I am so lucky to be your mom, and I hope you know that. I hope you know how much I love you. I hope that you know how proud of you I am. I hope you know how wonderfully made you truly are.

Happy birthday, Big Boy Ei. I love you so very, very much.