Tuesday, January 31, 2012

First Ohio Snow

This post is a couple weeks overdue, but the pictures are worth sharing regardless!

And I’ll apologize for the blurriness of them….it was SO cold that day, that I was trying to operate the camera with my gloves on.  I dropped the camera several times, and wasn’t entirely successful in getting the lens dried off.  Oh, well.

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Poor Erin, in her mish-mashed get up.  Her winter coat, vintage snow pants (and I mean vintage as in they were my mother’s when she was a toddler!), Seth’s halloween costume rain boots….  I need to get over to Once Upon a Child and get her a pair of waterproof snow pants.  Not that it is snowing up here…..sheesh.  This bizarre weather better not mean a blizzard in April!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Karate Kid – January Progress

I mentioned earlier this month that we had signed Seth up for karate classes for the spring.  While the logistics of it have not turned out exactly as we were expecting (the class he was supposed to go in ended being a little too physically challenging at this point), he is thoroughly enjoying it.

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karate kid 004  Instructor Turner (Mr. Daniel) explaining to Seth that he was going to stomp the board right in half.  I was beyond skeptical….

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But what do you know?  He DID IT!  And earned his white belt in the process!

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I have to say, on a side note, that he did SO WELL at his class last Friday, and I really think it was because we’d had such a structured day.  We spent the morning visiting a prospective preschool, and we attended the entire morning session (9-11:30); then we had lunch with a friend and her daughter; playtime at home during Erin’s nap; and then on to karate.  Dan (Seth’s instructor) was finally able to see the best version of Seth….it made me that much more sure that we need to find the right school for him, and also keep him socially active.

Anyway, I digress.

We are going to move forward attending just Friday classes for ages 3 and 4, and anticipate moving Seth up to the bi-weekly 4-6 yr old class maybe in March depending on how quickly he masters a couple more physical feats.

In closing, here is the video of Seth’s white belt presentation:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kitchen “eyebrows”

You all may recall from when I did the window treatments in Erin’s nursery that I referred to the valance as an “eyebrow,” courtesy of my sweet friend Daina.


Well, I’m at it again.

My decor color choices have always tended toward warm, earthy tones.  My kitchen and dining room in all of my previous 3 homes have been infused with deep reds, golden yellows, and dark finishes.  While I knew I wasn’t going to necessarily set out to recreate identical rooms in our new house, I knew that my inherit tendencies would emerge.

Until my dad painted the kitchen blue.  Like, BLUE blue. (Pretend the boxes aren’t there – they technically aren’t, I’ve actually unpacked since I took this picture – and note the wall color.)

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I’m not sure of the actual color; I’ll come back and update the post if I can find it, or if Dad remembers.  But it is a deep, almost-bright-in-some-lights, sapphire-y blue.  And it is pretty.  But it is blue.  And I’m just not a blue girl.

I toyed around with the idea of repainting the kitchen, and I was leaning toward red.  (Duh.)  But it felt predictable, and I felt somewhat up to the challenge of seeing if I could (wait for it – I’m going to channel Tim Gunn) make it work with the blue, so it was off to JoAnn Fabrics I went.  On Black Friday, no less, with my mother-in-law in tow.

See, I knew I needed something to go not only with the blue, but also with the many red accent pieces I already had (think canisters, trivets, towels) – things that, yes, could be replaced, but it would have been an unnecessary expense, and the pieces were still perfectly good with only 6 years of use.  So, I needed the fabric to work with the blue paint, the red accents, and some yellows that are currently in/will be expanded on in the adjoining great room.  In addition, I wanted it to be fun and make a statement, and possibly incorporate some other colors, too.  If you care to look, my 5959 Kitchen Pinterest board will give you an idea of what I was going for.

Oh, did I mention I was also planning on recovering our ivory seats on the dining chairs, and that I would need to find coordinating fabric for that task, too?  I didn’t?  Well, I am, and I did.  Go, me!

I know, shut up already and show you what I found, right? =)

The floral is the valance fabric, and the stripes are for the dining chairs.  I’m also lining the back of the valance (similar made-up-pattern as Erin’s valance) with the stripes.

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I’m 2/3 of the way done with making the valance panels, and then all I will have to do is figure out how I want to hang them.  The window already has custom cellular shades, so the valance is 100% decorative and serves no functional purpose, so they can be fixed in one position.  I’m thinking some kind of finial-ish thing or oversized, chunky drawer hardware, mounted above the window casing, and then either fabric or ribbon ties with button accents to attach….I don’t know yet.

Pottery Barn has these hangers that would work, and I like, but I’m pretty sure I’d need 5, and with a $24 price tag, I’m ruling them out.  Conceptually, though, it’s what I’m going for.


Anyway, I was just too excited about the progress and how happy I still am, 2 months later, with the fabric, that I thought I’d share a sneak peak.  I promise to share more pictures when it all finally comes together.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

20w update

How far along: 20w4d

Total weight gain: Still down 13 lbs from pg starting weight.  That said, I’m up 4 lbs. from where I was a month ago, so I guess we are going in the right direction.  Having my appetite back just in time for the holidays (and namely, my sister-in-law’s macaroons) didn’t hurt.

General disposition:  Eh, this is a toughy.  I mean, really, like I can separate the stress and business of our current circumstances from the pregnancy?  Not possible.  I’m glad to be back under the care of my beloved Dr. G and the team of MFMs at Toledo Hospital.  I’m as comfortable as I can be in these limbo weeks between “past 20” and “viable at 24.”  It isn’t the most fun month, and yes, I feel a little bit like I’m just surviving or holding my breath until 24w, but even then… Anyways.  I’m good.  Enough.

Sleep:  Again, hard to answer in light of the pregnancy alone.  I am busy all day, so I’m tired at night.  But Seth has been sick and Erin cut two teeth this past week, so my sleep has been interrupted by my older two, not the little one. 

Best moment this week:
Realizing I can trigger movement with sugar!

:  See previous. =)  I have not had very consistent movement much before this last week/10 days, and it’s been disconcerting, because Seth, Duncan, and Erin were all early, frequent movers.  This baby also tends to stay low and left 90% of the time; I’m feeling a little beaten up in that region. 

Labor Signs/Body Changes of Note:  I’m having a lot of discomfort with my belly button. I don’t think I mentioned that about 15w, I was told my umbilical ring is “compromised” which basically means I have a hernia at my belly button that can’t be repaired until during my c-section.  Ugh.  It’s painful.  Also, in the last week, I’ve started leaking colostrum.  Crazy!  “Normal,” but still….earlier that I’d like to worry about having nursing pads on hand.

What I miss:  Sleeping on my stomach, and bending over easily. 

What I am looking forward to:
  My ultrasound on Feb. 10.  It will have been almost 2 months between scans for me, which is longer than I usually go, so I’m excited to see how much the baby has grown.

And speaking of “grown,” here is me at 20w and change….

For comparisons’ sake, here I am at 21w with Erin:

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And though unposed, at 19w with Duncan:

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And at 22w with Seth:

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Crazy!  To look back.  To see the physical changes, but also, for me, to see, in the “hidden messages” in each photo, the changes that my journey to motherhood has done in me as a woman.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The first trimester…

I’d had pregnancy queasiness with all of  my pregnancies, including my miscarriages, but nothing was as bad as the all-day sickness that accompanied this final pregnancy.  It was BAD.  Between the nausea, the actual throwing up, the fatigue, and, unfortunately, repeatedly occurrences of bleeding, I had myself convinced by 6w that this pregnancy – like all my other “oops” conceptions would be doomed, and that we were just waiting for a premature goodbye.

I had an early ultrasound at 6.5w, which showed not one but two sacs.  Twins?  Again?  It was almost unimaginable.  I was asked to come back for an additional ultrasound at 8w, and at that point, there was only one baby, with one heartbeat.  Overwhelming relief quickly replaced any twinge of loss or sadness, as we prefer to keep my pregnancies as uncomplicated as possible.  I immediately began my folic acid/baby aspirin/Lovenox regimen, and waited…waited for the bleeding to stop.  Waited for the heartbeat to regulate (it was a crazy-high 180+ bpm at the 8w ultrasound).  Waited for the sickness to pass.  Waited for the flutters to start.

And October turned to November, and November became full of pre-plans to return to Ohio, and my days and thoughts became consumed with boxes and tape and craigslist postings and trips near and far.

And despite constant battles with my injection sites,

lovenox, i hate you

the days turned to weeks, and soon enough, I was cruising into the second trimester.

I’d had every intention, like with Erin’s pregnancy, of faithfully taking weekly pictures of my/the baby’s growth, but, alas, all I have of my first trimester, as far as intentional pictures is at 10w.

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Which, is funny, because looking at this picture in hindsight, I’m completely convinced this is all bloat and not at all baby, because I don’t even look like this at my current point in my pregnancy.  Well, I’m getting there, but, still.  That up there?  Bloat, all the way.


There has been some back and forth between my TN ob and TN MFM offices regarding my due date, given that the baby is measuring ahead (YEA!) of where s/he was expected to be, and I have beautiful ultrasound pictures to confirm that this little one looks, at this point, just like his/her brothers and sister, but….again, lazy me.  I’m not going to take a picture of a picture at this point, and our scanner isn’t yet hooked up.  So, just take my word for it.  S/he is cute. =)  As for my due date, it is technically June 2.  I will deliver no later than 38 weeks, which, yes, do the math, is May 19 – Duncan’s birthday.  We are trusting the Lord to perfectly orchestrate the baby’s birthday (and honestly, we are expecting the baby to come well before 38w), but will also be working with Dr. G here in Ohio to have a Plan B to avoid having the baby so close to Duncan’s birthday.  I’m leaning toward May 11, personally, because it is exactly half-way between Erin and Duncan’s days, but again, it is a bridge to be crossed at a later day.

On another note, are you as sick of reading the whole s-slash-h-e mess?  (S/he, if that didn’t translate.)  Ugh.  I will admit, I mostly refer to the baby as “he” just because it is easier to have a pronoun.  The fact of the matter, however, is that, despite protests from the grandmothers (ahem, Mom), we have decided NOT to know the gender of this baby until delivery.  I’ll admit, the planner in me wants to know.  It’s hard not to know.  (Especially since I know that the information is already in my medical file; they were able to determine gender at my ultrasound on Dec. 14.)  And I can admit, I have a preference.  If I could choose, I would.  So, for that matter more than any other, we’ve (well, I….Jim, I think, could have happily gone either way on this decision) decided to wait to know whether we will welcome a third son or second daughter.

Anybody want to leave their guess?  I know what some of you think already, but I’m curious to hear what you all think.   It’s fun to wonder and speculate.  Feel free to tell me what you’re thinking/hoping for.  I’m also completely open to any name suggestions.  The middle name for a girl is fairly set, and I have a boy middle name that my heart is strongly leaning toward (but that I haven’t shared with Jim yet), so, we are very open to hear what others would suggest to us.

I’ll be back later this week with one last baby post (I think I’ll start the weekly updates like I’ve done in the past) and belly picture.

To be continued…

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The beginning…

If you’re thorough, you may have taken our announcement that we have Baby 4 joining our family in May to deduce that I’m between 20 and 24 weeks pregnant.  Or maybe you just read it and didn’t do the math (I wouldn’t have).  But, considering that this, my final pregnancy, is already past the half-way mark (I’m 20w3d), I figured it was about time to fill y’all in on some of the details of this pregnancy.

I do have some posts that I was writing all along that I have back posted, and you can find them all here.  But, if you want a general “reader’s digest” summary, here you go.

Over the summer, Jim and I began to discuss the possibility of another pregnancy.  I can’t remember (and I’m too lazy to research back posts) if I divulged here on the blog that we spent most of Erin’s pregnancy thinking that I would have a tubal ligation during her c-section, only to find out in April (2010) that I would be unable to undergo the procedure at the time and place of her birth.  We considered other sterilization options later that year, but found that we weren’t at peace about the permanence of it, so…we opted to forego something drastic and continue our (very limited) option of non-hormonal birth control.  Ahem.  Which was working for us.

When we knew that we would most likely be traveling overseas at some point in the summer of 2012, we began to consider other birth control options.  I had discussed an IUD with my obgyn – an option I previously thought was not viable for me given my inability to use hormonal birth control methods.  She educated me otherwise, however, and we decided that if I were to have an IUD placed for at least 12 months, that I would be a candidate.  This decision was made in late August 2012, and we proceeded with the insurance preapproval paperwork.

There are a couple “chapters” of the story that I’ll skip for now, only because they are worthy of their own blog post(s), but let’s fast forward to the end of September.  I received notice from my doctor office that we’d been 100% approved for the Mirena, and that I was to schedule my surgery appointment for during my next menstrual cycle.

Which, if you’re paying attention at all, you’ll realize NEVER CAME.

On September 28, completely on a whim, and only because I’d tossed my cookies while cleaning up a mess from Erin, I ducked out of choir practice to purchase a dollar store pregnancy test.

And after I put Seth and Erin to bed, while Jim was away at a company dinner function, I did what I’ve done a dozen times before…

I watched two lines appear.


I had planned to spill the whole story thus far in this one post, but it is already long, so I’ll close for now, with promises to get you all up to speed in the coming days.  But I’ll end by saying that as surprised – no, shocked, really – as we were to learn of this baby-to-be, we could not be more eager and excited to meet this little person.  As much as I’m trying to relish each moment of this pregnancy, knowing that this time for SURE it is my last, I fight the urge to will May here more quickly.  I can’t wait to welcome this little person into our hearts and home.

To be continued….

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Popping in....

Just to say hi.

We're here and alive.  Barely.

In the last week, we've been to the ER, the doctor twice, and a late night run to RiteAid for children's pepto.

I fell down the stairs and banged myself up pretty badly, but the baby is okay, and that's the only that matters.  I then proceeded to break a toe, I think, tripping over Erin and straight into a door jam.  Seth started puking and having diarrhea Thursday night and that hasn't stopped (and it's Sunday afternoon).

We've enjoyed the first Ohio snowfall, and our first visit to our old/new church.  MOPS and a new Bible study, karate and playdates, etc., etc., etc.  It's what our days have been made of.

I have pictures...lots of pictures to share.  I need to get on it.  I miss blogging.  SO much.  But, it's hard to make myself make the time when there are still boxes to sort through, pictures to hang, babies to comfort and play with, meals to plan, laundry to tend to, errands to run...the list is endless.

Please stick around.....I know so many of us read our blogs in a feed reader now, and that cuts down on commenting (I am offender numero uno in that department), but I'd love to hear you say "hi," just so I know you're still out there....

Until next time....

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jan 9

Rough day, that started pretty much at 10:30 pm the night before.

Disobedient child, being sent away from karate class.

Insurance snafu at the obgyn office (not to mention a scale that was measuring 2.5 pounds more than my own [rebellious] digital scale).

A lost sippy cup that is clandestinely leaking blue Powerade onto the carpet....wherever it may be.


Jim sacrificed the last pieces of leftover pizza for my dinner.

And let's face it, those poor chicks on The Bachelor have it WAY worse than I do today!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our house…

…is a very, very, very fine house.

Full of boxes.

That need to go away.  After they unpack themselves, that is.

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At least there are little bright spots, like finding notes from Tiffany on the boxes, to make the unpleasant task of unpacking a little less dreaded.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My karate kid

Because we chose to forego any type of preschool or Mothers’ Day Out program this spring, we discussed enrolling Seth in some type of lesson, be it swim, gymnastics, or martial arts.  Karate ended up winning hands down, when the husband of our darling Miss Sara posted on his Facebook wall about an enrollment special he was running at his karate studio.

So, on Monday, we met with Dan to discuss the details, and we left with a gi.

And on Tuesday, Little Mister had his first one-on-one class with his instructor.

Have you ever seen anything so cute?!

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Initially, Erin was content to watch from the sidelines, but as you can see from the last picture (I had to put the camera down to go chase her), she wants in on the action, too.

We are going to start twice-a-week classes next week.  I’m excited to get Seth involved, and for him to make some new friends.  And of course, there is the side benefit of getting to hang out with some of my best girls while their firstborns participate as well.

Here’s to a new experience for us all!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello, 2012

Hello, fresh new year.

Hello, new home, with your endless empty drawers and blank walls and bare refrigerator shelves.  May we fill you with joy, laughter, and memories beyond our wildest dreams.

Hello, frigid temperatures and gray skies.  Bleak you are, but you are home.

Hello, boxes.  And more boxes.  And totes and tubs and bags and suitcases.  May you unpack yourself.  Posthaste.

Hello, new opportunities.  New friends.  New job.  New grocery store.  New drivers' license photo.  New time zone.  New phone number.

Hello, year-of-our-last-baby-bump.  Oh, may I treasure the next 4 months, watching my waistline disappear.  May I treasure each new movement and kick.  May I cherish each moment with my still-baby Erin and ever-growing Seth before you, little nameless one, join our crazy, beautiful, chaotic life.

Hello, season of multi-generational family living arrangements.  Be gracious to us, as we navigate sharing space, grand/parenting responsibilites, and remote controls.  Unconventional, but what a blessing to have this time, however long it be, before we send Gramp-e off to the Ukraine for good.

Hello, 2012.  It is surreal, how familiar your entry to that of 2009.  Be calmer, please.  Quieter.  Easier.  Happier.

But whatever you bring us, 2012, welcome.