Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A First Picnic

Two weeks old and rightfully enjoying the perks of his first mid day picnic a few days ago.

Rex got to break in some of his new big brother skills.
And baby Hayes got to feel the breeze on his face with the trees overhead.

We all left feeling full, rested, and refreshed.

This weekend will be another fun first. An overnight camp trip at the beach in the RV to kick off the end of the school year and the unofficial start of summer. Good things to come.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hayes Ray

Welcome our fourth beautiful boy.
Hayes Ray Kraus. 

Born May 12th, at 1:28 pm
7lbs 11oz
20' long 

Smothered with song and kisses since the day we brought him home. Wide eyed, alert, and sweet as can be these past two weeks. His careful blue eyes waking to the new rythems of this house, growing familiar with his endlessly admiring brothers and the day to day soundtrack that defines a full and moving household.

So far, we have spent most of our days tucked away in my room. He and I. Watching the trees sway when the wind picks up. Reading, napping, nursing, fawning.

He is prefect, in every way.
And we are so in love.

Thank you so much for all your love and support along the way.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Scenes From a Weekend / Mother's Day

A perfectly lazy day we spent on Sunday. I slept in. Woke to coffee, flowers, a big hand carved cutting board, a handful of handmade gifts the boys made at school and later, was surprised by one big beautiful cactus I've had my eye on down at the local nursery for months.
The fact that Mike remembered it, made my day.

We couldn't do much else, seeing that all weekend long we had been on edge with a string of false contractions coming and going. So we made the most of indoors. The boys wrestled, built forts and we all watched movies while waiting on Mike's bbq chicken dinner. After dinner we made it over to a nearby friend's house where we stopped to visit and those same contractions started again, only this time they continued to pick up and before I knew it, we were packed and headed to the hospital where the best gift I could have ever hoped for arrived the following afternoon.

He is here sleeping beside me now.
Sweet as a dream.

Can't wait to share him here soon.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

week 40

The last couple of pregnancy photos I've taken during these past two weeks I'm always figuring, ok this, this one is the last one. And then proceed to meet another day, or whole week still pregnant.

In reality, I know 40 weeks is not anything extraordinary. Plenty of my friends and family have gone much longer overdue. It's just not a point in pregnancy I've ever reached before and as patient as I've been these whole nine (or ten) months, not knowing the gender and all, every hour after hitting full term feels like a lifetime.

It's also proving quite exhausting for the whole house, all the waiting in addition to plenty of false starts. Thursday night I woke with sharp, aching pains around 3am and woke Mike so we could get things together and take the boys to my moms. I knew I wasn't in full blown labor but uncomfortable enough to know we should be closer to the hospital should things progress as quickly as they have for me in the past. I got ready, the car was running and then suddenly everything stopped. Completely. We headed back to bed and  slept soundly the rest of the night, waking to new contractions in morning that would come and go all day long and through the weekend with no real pattern or progression, just reminders that my body is indeed well prepared by now.

So we were are. Officially overdue. With every phone call, every text, every posting, facing expectations on the other end. Loved ones hoping to hear news of this new baby's arrival. Our neighbors, the preschool, the online community and just about anybody else who knows us by name is eager for some kind of significant update. And yet as anxious as we all are, there comes a point where you start to accept that none of it is really within our control. This baby, it seems, maybe not so big on tradition. So much so that any of the previous telling "signs" I came to count on with the first three experiences, have come and gone, offering nothing more than my patience tested.

Luckily, the warm world of Instagram has helped keep my humor and spirits up. Offering all kinds of loving sentiments and wild advice on how to naturally induce labor, while remaining kindly supportive during these last few weeks of pregnancy. Yesterday I was entertained by a slew of follower comments swearing by countless remedies and rituals I've never heard before. Tractor rides, red wine, primrose oil dissolved on the cervix, spicy food, pineapple cores, sex tips, meditation points, acupuncture, ect. The list goes on and on and honestly, it helped keep my spirits up when I was struggling. Funny stuff you guys!

For now, I wish you all a joy-filled restful mother's day. We will be here at home making dinner later, and lounging around the backyard in the sun in between a couple mid day naps I'm counting on. Already the day is off to a prefect lazy start. Arlo greeted me first thing this morning with a big handmade wood cutting board, flowers and coffee, Rex, a filthy chocolate covered grin (he stole one of my doughnuts but was quick to apologize) and Leon, bearing two chocolate bars he picked out and non stop hugs while settling in beside me in bed to smoother me with his usual sweet sweet complements, easily making yet another day in waiting, feel a whole lot lighter.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

On Impulse

When you are on hanging on the verge of "could be labor" status for over a week straight, turns out you start to do funny things. You might invest too much of your late evenings examining slideshow photos of Kim Kardashian's allegedly altered face - none of which you other half seems even remotely intrigued by, or watching True Detective alone because for some reason it's the one show that sends your couch partner to sleep almost immediately with the start of each new episode. Remaining so clueless in fact that he might ask the following morning if it's "a comedy?" seeing that the extent of his knowledge is that it stars Woody Harrelson. You might help yourself to a second bowl of ice cream (small, but a second) or find yourself, at last resort, lost in the glimmering world of Pinterest, where you happen to stumble across the cutest little basket purse and see visions of your summer, post baby, packed in that little woven bag. A perfect place for packing fruit, or sandwiches on the go.

When, in fact, you might ever be "on the go" again.

Thanks Meadow and Mark for making me happier than another bowl of ice cream.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Scenes From a Weekend // Spring Picnic

By Saturday we were going stir crazy being cooped up in the house all week so we drove down the freeway to where the Annual Spring Picnic was taking place. An event that a friend of Mike's has been putting on for a number of years now which consists of a bunch of VW diehards who gather around the same time every year to bbq, mingle, drink beer and talk German automobiles.

We weren't there long but enough to take in the beauty of all those old buses. So many different VW styles. Which was nice because the boys, by now, all have some pretty keen skills on the subject, the makes and models due to their accompanying dad on so many craigslist scours where all this info is tossed around constantly. Mike is always looking to "trade" one old car for another so they get to know what exactly it is they are looking for. What's more rare, what's more valuable. What exactly their dad has his eye on. In fact, I'm watching him here now on the phone with a man 8 hours away about a particular car he's looking to score before the week is though. A reality my current state seems to be slightly hindering.

The afternoon ended with lunch at our local Mexican restaurant, and then home for smore's by the outdoor fireplace. Other than Saturday though we haven't been out much. Still waiting. Each day hoping. Eating take out and watching plenty of bad Tv.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Meet The Ma Books

Up now and doing a fine job at sucking up some of the anxious energy waiting on this baby. I suppose I was too quick to assume that because all of the boys were born between 35 and 38 weeks, this one would come somewhat early as well.

Not the case it seems, which I'm fine with, just itching to get out of the house during a sudden heatwave that sprung a few days ago. But we are here. Waiting. Home on strict orders not to stray too far seeing how quickly previous labors progressed.

These past couple of weeks having proved pretty rough. I ended up with a string of allergy induced headaches that had me in bed for a good part of a week, and, as expected, the house fell apart almost instantly. I lost sight of nearly everything on our regular schedule. The school registration for Leon, the share days for Rex, one second grade craft project and lots and lots and lots of laundry. Mike did what he could to clean up and keep any sense of order rolling, but it's just not the same. Peanut butter jar in weird places. Toys mixed in the wrong bins, and floors completely overlooked. What I did manage though was my weekly Dr's apt in which my OB seemed frightfully surprised by how big the baby had grown in the past week. "Whoa you ARE big!!" Were his exact words (ringing still, actually)
So in the midst of a stabbing headache, and a disastrous house, I then had this looming image of a giant baby growing all to comfortable, getting only bigger, heavier everyday.

Then two days ago I woke up feeling incredibly recharged.  The wind stopped and the headaches slipped away. I was quick to take advantage of it and pull things together in time for what I thought would be, impending labor. And yet here we are, five days from a marked due date, clean house, bored kids, big comfy baby and more television than any of us have known in years. In the midst of this new peaking energy (and suddenly more time at home than I'm really ever comfortable with) I figured it was a good time to share The Ma Books. A blog space I've been slowly cultivating over the past couple of months in my "spare" time. Drafting some of my own personal posts combined with outside contributions I've collected so far. It's a project I've been looking forward to so I'm hoping to keep it consistent by embracing plenty of random insights and not leaning too heavily on regular, dependable weekly features. All of which should be prove honest, and funny, and real and something I myself want in a community blog but have a hard time finding out there now. Also regular stuff you can expect like simple recipes, humerous tales about my own household, guest posts, and plenty of my friends and their children featured in short videos sharing whatever crafts or playdates we have any luck with. Parties and party ideas. Interviews. Home Tours, thrifty fashion posts and the occasional product highlight whenever we find something we really enjoy and feel might suit the audience at hand. All in all, I really just look forward to writing more seriously again. Connecting with new readers and creating a space that feels genuine in it's grasp of motherhood on the whole.

We'll have to see where it goes from here.

For now, I am off to bed. To wake up and wait out another day, in a hot house clinging to whatever random series we have remanning on our Netflix picks. And then, as soon as this babe is here, I imagine we will be napping on the beach again. Soaking up the perks of a warmer season as a new family of six*

In the meantime, thanks so much for listening.

photo by Ashely Jennet 

*written late last night. Now we're more actually off to an annual Volkswagen show put on by one of our friends. It's close enough not to feel too risky and just what we need right about now. A couple hours of sun and a whole lot of pretty old cars to keep us company through lunch.