Well, we made it through the holidays unscathed. We had Christmas celebrations here, there, and everywhere, it seemed. Marshall had such a great time this year. And we really enjoyed watching his enthusiasm and joy. For months leading up to Christmas we heard “put that on my list for Santa” nearly every day. His final short list included see-in-the-dark binoculars, a glow-in-the-dark light saber, a magnifying glass, and Paw Patrol. And would you believe Santa came through on it all PLUS some?! We spent the days after Christmas cleaning out old, forgotten toys from his playroom and moving his things upstairs. We’re turning his old playroom into a nursery again for baby brother, and Marshall surprised us by not being upset at all about giving it up. In fact, I think he’s enjoying the extra bit of independence he has in his new playroom. Since it’s upstairs, it’s a little more removed from us, and he has been going up there quite a bit and spending time on his own–something he never did before. To be fair, many of his toys often end up down in the living room–particularly his light sabers, swords, and guns. His favorite activity is pretend fighting. He and Jon repeatedly act out scenes from Star Wars. It is so adorable. I really need to get them on video.

When Marshall is not wielding some kind of weapon, he’s drawing and coloring and rolling up his papers into maps, practicing writing his name (with both his left and right hands!), watching Paw Patrol or Octonauts or Jake, chowing down on Goldfish, singing silly songs and making silly faces, and snuggling. He is such a snuggler! And he gives the best hugs and kisses. He really is the sweetest. I am getting really excited about meeting our new little one, but there is part of me that is going to really miss the family dynamic that we have right now. Just the other day we were talking about what it would be like to take a balloon ride up into the sky, and he said he didn’t think he’d want to because he’d miss us too much. I am so proud of the bond we have with him, and though I know our interactions will change with time, I hope that bond will always be just as strong as it is now.

I can’t wait to see Mars with his new baby. He is going to be such a great big brother. He hugs and kisses and talks to my belly. He came to a prenatal appointment with me and got to help the midwife find the baby’s heartbeat. He has been really attentive when we talk about what labor and birth will be like. He seems interested enough that I want to make sure he is a part of the experience–as long as he seems up for it at the time. I have no doubt that he is going to have moments of jealousy, but I am optimistic that he’s going to be a great helper and adjust with relative ease. He seems excited to be the big kid in the house. I am so looking forward to having them both in my lap!

Speaking of the littlest, I am 31 weeks pregnant! We are truly in the home stretch. Other than typical pregnancy discomforts, everything is moving along just fine. Right now we are planning for a homebirth, and I am starting to really think about what I want my laboring and birthing space to look and feel like. Lights, art, music, etc. Someone asked me the other day if I was nervous. No way! I am nothing but excited! I had a wonderful birth experience with Mars, and I am thrilled to be doing it again.

Okay. That’s all I have for now. At the rate I’ve been going, I imagine my next update will be a birth story.