Clara Evangelina Millan
December 21
7lbs 2oz

It's hard to believe that little Clara is already 2 weeks old today! She actually arrived on the day that I jokingly predicted by averaging the days that Olivia and AJ came early and subtracting them from her actual due date and rounding the date to the nearest Sunday (since Sunday is not the most convenient day for a pastor's kid to be born). Pretty scientific, I know.
I had random blocks of contractions Saturday night, and stayed awake timing them all night. Fortunately for me it was Chefography marathon night on Food Network! At 5 a.m. I was ready to go to the hospital. At 11:20ish, it was time to push. Clara was not coming as quickly as they thought that she would, and her heart rate began to drop. After about 10 minutes of pushing, everything got a little intense. I was able to take my sweet time with AJ, but with Clara, I sensed the urgency from the doctor to get her out ASAP. Thank the Lord, she arrived safely 10 minutes later-- and she was sooooo cute!


With or without Clara...Christmas Traditions Continue!

We love going to the Festival of Lights every year! We picked up a dozen doughnuts, and let Olivia and AJ sit up front with us for the drive through the park. Their little faces beamed with excitement as we drove by all the light displays. It is so fun when the kids are as excited as we are about showing them a good time!

Now I have a better understanding of the "magic of the season". When else can you string a bunch of go-carts together and call it a train? This was hands-down AJ's favorite part.

Mom smiling while the kids are still trying to figure out why they had to get off the Carousel. We ride it ONE time... that's just as much tradition as the lights themselves.

When we got to the carousel, Olivia had her heart set on riding the "Pongo one" (trans. the dalmation). I stood in awe as I watched my mild-mannered husband muscle through the crowd, holding both children in his arms, to secure Pongo for her. Our hero!!


Off the subject... this picture was taken not even 5 minutes after Olivia assured me that she wasn't tired and thus didn't need to rest. Ha! She didn't even make it onto the chair!


So... how does YOUR 3 year old tell you that you are having a bad hair day?

MINE turns to me and says "Mommy, you need a hairbow".

Welcome Home Olivia and AJ!!


37 Weeks!!! Praise the Lord! Now if someone would just let Clara know that she can start packing up shop and join the rest of the family... we've got a Christmas card to get out!

On the SUNNY side: I'm 4 cm. 80%. Head perfectly down. Full term. My sweet little Olivia and AJ (both born between 37 and 38 weeks) are safely and lovingly being cared for at grandma's house.

On the PARTLY CLOUDY WITH SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAINY side: I am feeling unusually impatient and restless and I really miss my sweet Olivia and AJ who are safely and lovingly being cared for at grandma's house. So being the mature, spiritually-minded person I need to be... I'm already planning to lunch at Los Reyes tomorrow in case I don't go into labor tonight... there's nothing like drowning your discouragement in enchilada sauce and chile queso! MMMM... even if I do go into labor, there's always take-out.

Thanks for putting up with all these pregnancy posts, and thanks especially for offering up some much-needed encouraging comments these past few weeks! Soon life will return to normal, AJ will have to be potty trained, I'll eventually venture out into public by myself with 3 children 3 and under (and believe me, I am sure something post-worthy will come out of that!), Olivia will say something brilliantly funny, and Clara will pass one of those million little landmarks babies pass in their first months of life. So stay tuned =)


Time for an Update. . .
We are so relieved and thankful to be approaching the 37th week without any further signs of pre-term labor. Today my OB said that I'll probably make it another week. She then sent me over to the ultra-sound ladies who checked Clara's growth. I was so excited about getting a 3-D shot of her, but the little stinker did not cooperate. She is weighing in at a whopping 5 lbs. 7 oz.
After my appointment, I met Alex for some soup and salad at the Olive Garden.... mmmm. We were having a lovely time until I started feeling some major braxton-hicks contractions and the room started spinning. Check please! Olivia was born the day after an Olive Garden date... so you might want to keep your eye on my facebook status over the next few days. Wishful thinking.
I feel like a ticking time-bomb right now. That's how it goes for me. No talk of inducement (is that a word?), no scheduled C-section, just ye ol' fashioned wait. it. out. I have this nagging feeling that when the time comes, it is going to go fast, and it isn't very comforting that my OB agrees with me on that point. My greatest fear is that I won't make it in time for the epidural fairy to find my room. When I think of having a baby without pain intervention, I imagine the scene from Gone with the Wind where Scarlett O'Hara happens upon the room where the soldier is getting his leg sawed off. Maybe that's my problem.


To Grandmother's House They Go...

. . .And it is so much easier to plan it than to actually kiss those soft little sweet cheeks goodbye. Why can't I remember their picky-eating, toy-tugging, stinky-pooping, bossing-brother, hitting-sister, mommy-maddening ways as we wave goodbye? Instead, everything I absolutely love about my life with them is all that comes to mind.
Olivia was so excited about going to grandma's house, she helped me pack her bags. AJ didn't really get it. He was interested in his personal little camoflauge snack bag full of grapes and crackers.
As hard as it was to see them go, I am so thankful my mom was able to help us in this way. I would rather they be away for a little while than stay here where I'm neither taking care of them nor myself.
Today was genuinely restful. Alex drove me to Target to get a few last-minute items and fresh air. I decided we needed a few extra newborn sleepers. Though we usually just use whatever is given to us-- which has always been PLENTY, Clara is going to be a wee little thing and will probably be in newborn clothes a little longer than Olivia and AJ were. I also threw in a pack of infant hairbands. Whew! We would hate to be caught off-guard in that area =)


Preggo Pics

As I got ready for my OB appointment today, I thought that I had better snap a few pictures while I still can! This is me at 35 weeks. People tell me that I'm still so small, but I feel like a horse.

Only one more week of bedrest before I can let nature take its course. I asked my OB if she could be a little more specific regarding how much activity I can do in a day (that's code for: Can I go to the Charleston Child sidewalk sale on Friday?). She said that aside from a shower and grabbing a snack, I can choose one low-key activity per day as long as I'm careful to be off my feet most of the day. I'll take it!!