Monday, April 28, 2008

16 weeks until Cuatro arrives!

First of all, I promise that I will not wear that headband in every pregnancy picture. Of course, I hadn't been wearing it all day and put it on before bed when Chris was finally ready to take the picture. : ) Anyway, here is the latest prego picture. I am now 6 months pregnant and things are moving fairly slowly at this point. Luckily, I feel pretty well. It's getting a little harder to move around but I'm not terribly uncomfortable. This is the calmest Larsen baby by far. He still hasn't kicked the wiggling up like the other three did. That's part of the fun of seeing how each baby is different!

Also, only 8 weeks until the big move! I can't believe it! I know that it will be here before we know it. I'm sure at some point I will emote via this blog but right now I feel pretty emotionally stable. It is such an exciting yet sad process!
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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Cumberland Island

For those who don't know (which will be most people who read this blog), Cumberland Island is Georgia's southern most barrier island. It was previously home to Thomas and Lucy Carnegie, as well as some revolutionary and civil war generals. The island has been made into a National Seashore and with that comes a lot of guidelines that keep this from being "just another car camping experience", mainly there are no cars allowed. : ) Because of that, you ferry 45 mins. over to the island with all of your camping gear and food in tow and say goodbye to civilization until your scheduled time to leave (for us 6 days). They do not have a camp store or anyway for you to purchase forgotten items so it takes quite a bit of careful planning. With all that in mind, we set out on our family adventure to Cumberland Island on Easter afternoon.

Here are a few pictures of unloading the van and the kids "helping" Chris it get all of the gear to a place where he could load it onto the ferry. The day we boarded the ferry was FREEZING! I actually had to unpack some of the kids warm clothes for them to put on while we waited.

Once you arrive at Cumberland Island, they provide you with carts to put your gear into so that you can carry it the 1/2 mile+ that it takes to get to your site. We all wore a pack (big kids included) and I pushed Caleb in the stroller on our first trip to the site. Since I'm pregnant, Chris didn't feel comfortable with me helping to move the gear and so he made the trip two more times by himself to bring the rest of our belongings to the site.

Needless to say, Chris was exhausted by the time he had unloaded the car, loaded the ferry, unloaded the ferry, loaded the carts, and trekked 3 miles to get all the gear it takes for a family of 5 to make it on an island 6 days. Then we still had to set up camp and all of this in 40 degree weather. Welcome to beach camping! lol!

We knew the week before our trip that the first few nights were looking like they would be painfully cold, considering we had 2 little kids and a baby to keep warm. I have to admit that this was my biggest concern. It's hard to keep a baby warm without having it co-sleep and Caleb is not a co-sleeper. That first night was about 37 degrees but we survived. This is a picture of us trying to warm up the next morning. We don't do many fires at this stage of life because a toddler plus fire equals ER trip but desperate times call for desperate measures. The big kids loved it of course!

This is the picture of the main path across Cumberland Island.

The first full day was still pretty cold so we decided to explore some of the island's historic sites. It was perfect hiking weather so it made for a nice outing. This is Dungeness, the ruins of the Carnegie Mansion on Cumberland Island. Thomas and Lucy Carnegie lived in this once 4 story Mansion along with their 9 children. This is one of the sites on the island that we enjoyed the most. The grounds are enormous and it was fun to imagine what it was like in it's grandeur.
One of the things Cumberland Island is known for is the wild horses that roam free there. I think that the kids counted a total of 17 wild horses during our 6 days there. They would rest by the bathrooms, walk down the path, and play on the sand dunes. It was fun to have the chance to experience that! Notice in the picture below...Luke is layered (as he should be) yet Kate has chosen to sport her bathing suit, desperate to experience the beach.
This was the board walk down to the beach...just beautiful!We returned to Dungeness on our last day for a picnic. Just a little family photo after lunch...
Cumberland Island contains a meritime forest and is made up of these BEAUTIFUL live oaks! You could not ask for a more perfect climbing tree
This is the ferry that transports you to and from the island. Our last 3 days on the island were gorgeous and we spent plenty of time on the beach. It also made for a much more enjoyable ride back to the mainland. The kids enjoyed riding on the top of the ferry and looking for dolphins.

Our Cumberland Island Adventure was one we will never forget and hope to repeat (maybe when Cuatro is about 4)!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Half Way There

Well, in order to keep all of my Arkansas friends from being shocked and horrified when I show up about to bust open in June, here's the second installment of pregnancy pics. I am almost 21 weeks, WOW! I think I look about 7 months pregnant in this pic but that's what happens when your body remembers it's pregnant shape better than it's nonpregnant shape. : ) The funny thing about this picture is that in the process of Chris taking it, he probably told me 5 times that black was slimming. It was hard to not take that as "Be glad. You really look a lot bigger than this in reality". On the bright side, I am very thankful to still be feeling well. Other than starting to get a little winded, I really feel pretty normal. The fourth time around I've realized that I need to embrace and enjoy this time because it's short lived. I feel like I'm doing pretty well maintaining that mindset so far! Hopefully one of the next posts will have a decision on a name other than "cuatro"! : )
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's a...

IT'S A BOY! Yes, it's true. The verdict is out and the newest member of Team Larsen will be a boy. Everyone handled the news as well as could be expected. The boys were of course excited to maintain power. Kate pushed through the disappointment and has begun to embrace the idea of maintaining her position as princess of the universe. It has taken a little adjustment for me. The idea of one dramatic girl and a house full of rowdy boys is a little overwhelming but I'm warming to the idea. Now, Cuatro will probably be nameless (other than "Cuatro") until he's twelve but I guess that's what happens when you're the 3rd boy. : ) It's been so funny to hear people's responses. People with one or even two (young) boys have been excited for me. People with more than two boys or boys that are 4 or older have given much compassion and as much encouragement as they could muster. That has all come with much warning about the level of rowdiness that is about to reek havoc on our home. I guess that is where I was when I heard the news. I was fine with more boys when I only had Luke but when DR. Destructo (aka Caleb) joined the ranks and teamed up with his older brother, I realized that my world was quickly changing! I can only pray for an ultra laid back dreamer-type child that will bring balance to the family. lol! In all seriousness though, we are very excited about the the addition of another boy to our family and it will be so fun to watch the transformation as we go from a Party of Five to a Six Pack!