Friday, February 27, 2015

It's a Date

About to POP.
This picture is actually a couple of weeks old. :)
I'm slightly bigger now.
And I have better hair - thanks Erin! Haha.

Months and months ago, in the middle of summer when the weather was still HOT as could be, Eric and I walked out of my doctor's office with brand new ultrasound pictures in our hands and the confirmation that we were going to be parents, yet again. And one of the first things I did when we got home that evening after receiving our "official" due date was to find on the calendar the first Friday following said date, because I knew that our real due date would actually be that day.

And I was right. (Or at least, I think I'll be right!) Our induction date is set for March 6...the date I knew all along and shared with many people that Charlotte would be arriving. I'm always induced on a Friday, and usually the first one after my due date passes. Since my due date is March 1, March 6 was always what I had in mind!

Unfortunately, we were assigned the night shift. We actually have to go in late late on Thursday and we officially begin on March 6 at midnight. This is not ideal...on so many levels. It means an extra night away from home for our kids. It means a very thrown off schedule for us and almost a guarantee that our entire hospital stay will be a little extra groggy. We've been here...Evelyn was an overnight induction. My labors aren't usually very long from start to finish. I fully expect being up all night long with a baby in my arms in the morning, which means if we do get a chance to blog our experience as we've done with our last two babies, no one will be awake to read it. :) And it means one very long day at school for our kids before they get a chance to see their new baby sister who will likely already be on the scene. Or maybe this time around it will take HOURS and I will be grateful for the extra time.

We'll see!

I have plans to make this baby come out tonight. Baha. You've got a trick or an old wives tale? I'm doing it. I'm gonna shake rattle and roll this baby right into the world. Or...more likely...I will give myself some seriously annoying contractions that won't amount to a thing except one night of crappy sleep. :)

Either way...one week from today we will have a baby - for sure! That's the end of the road. I really hope that this time we be able to not only take a few pictures and journal our experience but that we will also get lots of video. Not like, of the actual birth, but the before and after stuff. :) We share a lot here, but I won't be sharing that much of myself.

Now to keep this house clean for seven more days...eee....



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Baby Haul!

It doesn't matter if it's child one, two, three, or four it is always FUN shopping for baby stuff! The days awaiting baby can seem so long, and getting everything together is one way to pass the time and add to the excitement of a new arrival. Of course, by baby number four there are simply things that need refreshing and replenishing. So today we're sharing a video of just a few of the items we have picked up in anticipation of Charlotte! It's just for fun and the links to some of our favorites are below.



Item links: 

Diaper bag - Viv and Lou
Car seat strap covers - Ebay - Sherry's Stock
Diaper clutch - Lilacs & Lollipops
Boppy cover - BB's Crafty Things
Hair accessories - Princessory
Diaper caddy - Kohl's
Swaddle blanket - Aden and Anais

Thanks for checking out the video, and by tomorrow we'll have some news to share with you about Charlotte's eviction date. It's going to require a bit of fancy planning on our part I'm afraid with three other children to accommodate. That is...if our princess decides to wait to come. If I had to put money on it...she'll take her good sweet time, just like the others. Starting to get a big head over here thinking that maybe I just have a five star womb that no one ever wants to leave. :D

Okay, that's enough. Later!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Our Weekend - Clean Rooms and Smelly Soap

It's Monday. Baby is still in there. Comfy as can be! I'm cracking up, because of course she is. I would not be a bit surprised to go to the doctor tomorrow and leave with an induction date. I would welcome it, actually. I have to admit that with three other kids now having a set date and time seems more appealing than ever. The element of surprise is less exciting and more a pain in the rear. :) We've been taking advantage of these last days by going into house-ready hyperdrive.

Eric and I are set the task of fitting six people into a two bedroom house, which has prompted us to get a little creative in the organization department. So many clothes...so many toys...so much stuff. Where to put it all?? That's what our weekend consisted of. We've been living in a war zone of giant furniture boxes, piles of stuff...but now we're one step closer to fitting all of the puzzle pieces together. And I do mean puzzle...I'm shocked at how much furniture we've finagled Tetris-style into one little room!

Here are the new additions....

I LOVE them.

The pictures do not even do justice to how big the bins are - they hold SO much! Most are only half full. I only wish we had these cube organizers sooner. Thank you Charlotte for prompting us to get it together. :) We were in desperate need of a new toy storage system and bookshelf...this fit the bill for both. I researched for a long time the best value on these things. By far the reviews on the Better Homes and Gardens brand organizers won out, and the price was right! Not the least expensive option, but the best for the money. The Better Homes brand can be purchased through Wal-Mart, and it's usually the least expensive place to find it. I've never been disappointed with anything from their lines. (I love the chunkiness of the outside pieces. These units don't look "cheap" like a lot of other comparable brands!) 

Anyway, before these could be put in there was A LOT of cleaning that had to be done in here. You could barely walk in our kids' room...for real, it was shameful. Toys and books and clothes everywhere. Three kids sharing ONE closet...blech. It's not ideal. But no more! Now everything has a place. All of Charlotte's things are in mine and Eric's room. We'll be bunking with a baby for quite a while, but that's not unusual for us. As a nursing mama I like to keep my baby close.

Eric and I always laugh at how ridiculous our situation sounds, but...those conversations always end with, "But it's really not that bad!" Because it really isn't. We may only have two bedrooms but our living space is just fine. Surprisingly, we don't feel cramped here. It has definitely changed our prospective on how much space we really need in the future, and I do think it will affect our upcoming home purchasing decisions. Layout is SO much more important to us than square footage. Happy as clams in our Polly Pocket place for now! :)

We did manage to still get a date night on Saturday. It was very welcome! And we were all able to make it to church this week - two weeks in a row! Whew, doing good. Haha. I have to say that I was feeling it by Sunday afternoon, though. A weekend full of bending and lifting, trips up and down the basement stairs...and most of it with all three kids at home...that took a lot of me! Got a little break at Heather's going through Miss Kinley's baby girl clothes. I think I have MORE than enough stuff for this child now, haha.

In other unrelated but relevant to my current life news...I smell like beef jerky.

 

This is the soap I've been using for the last couple of days. It REEKS. Haha. But...it's a miracle worker according to the internet.

So...added to the list of strange symptoms I've had this pregnancy is one that has popped up late in my third trimester. I have PUPPPS...which is a lovely rash on my legs and arms. Thankfully mine is a very mild case, and it goes away once baby is born, but I do not want to deliver this kid with a rash on my legs. Even if it's totally harmless. It's just not pretty. :) PUPPPS is more common in pregnancies where mom is carrying multiples, which might explain why I've never had it before. I still find it so weird that even though I lost a baby so early on my body is still responding as if there are two in there. In some ways, it's a quiet confirmation of another little life that once was.

Anyway, everyone says this particular soap is amazing for all kinds of skin conditions...PUPPPS was even mentioned specifically multiple times on Amazon. So, duh, had to get some! I knew ahead of time that other people mentioned the smell was not ideal...many describe it like the smell of a campfire. When I opened the box I was knocked on my rear. Yes, it DOES smell like a campfire. Haha. And then once it's used I swear it smells like jerky. I was so hesitant to rub this stuff on myself. And I am now the running joke in this household. I can't even walk by our main bathroom without catching a whiff of it. (Really, it smells LESS when you use it than when it's dry.) Most people said that their rash miraculously cleared in three days after using this, and this will be day three for me. I hope it works (so I can put it away, haha.) It does make you feel squeaky clean, though!


Reagan braving it in the bathroom with the pine tar soap. :D

It's so funny and so gross.

Men would probably like it. 

Unless that man is Eric...he takes pleasure in pretending to sniff me and call me Grandpa.

I swear I don't actually smell bad. Swear. :)

That was our weekend! Cleaning...organizing...de-rashifying. I'll let you know if the miracle cure works out. Gosh dang, I hope so. Or else I've tortured myself for the past few days for nothing. 

Thank you for loving and not judging me, friends. Haha. Over and out!




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Baby Updates!

Baby Charlotte now has a place to rest her pretty little head.


And her new buddy took it for a test run this morning. :)

I thought I would pop on really quickly while I'm having lunch for an update. I definitely don't have a lot of time to spare for the computer today! 

So...miraculously, wondrously, astoundingly, it turns out that my body IS making progress. Huh! I am 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced...which...isn't all that much, but it's double what I was just a week ago at this time, and that was pretty much nil. That, coupled with the events of the weekend, and my doctor hopes to not see me at our appointment next week. She guessed it would only be a few days. 

(I've heard that before. This is sounding a lot like my very first pregnancy, haha.)

But we'll see! I was having a really good morning today. Steadily making progress on all that needs to get done. It almost seemed as if the clock had slowed down and I was able to take things easy and just get things done at a much nicer pace. Definitely a sharp contrast to the other day when I felt like I was rushing around and NOTHING was getting accomplished. 

Then I had to load the kids up and drive Gracie to school a little bit ago, and now I'm feeling it. Sharp sharp pains and back contractions. Every time this kid moves it feels like she is barreling down and it stops me dead in my tracks. I just keep telling myself that every little ache gets us closer to our baby girl! Then I FREAK out because I look around at the war zone that is our house right now and I can't even imagine bringing my child home to this, haha. Still working - so much to do! I have a very ambitious list and Eric has class tonight, which means I'm all on my own again. Also...I can't find my phone. Talk about the worst timing ever. So if you get on facebook later and see this:

SOMEONE CALL MY HUSBAND STAT.

You know what's up. :) 

Love you so much, friends! Time to get back to it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

V-Day to D-Day

I could have written the world's shortest blog post for today. It would have looked something like this:

I'M CRABBY.

The end.

The hormones, oh the hormones! But...more on that a little later. We actually had a really great weekend, and I wasn't crabby the whole time. :)

It was Valentine's Day and President's Day weekend all in one, so it was extra long and came with some extra fun. I always joke that Valentine's day ceased to exist as a romantic holiday for Eric and me when we had kids. Now it's more of a family affair - an excuse to go out and do something all together. We strategically crafted an outing for the kids that would kill two birds with one stone this year.

Last year for Valentine's Day we went to Build-A-Bear and let the girls make their own gifts from us. Reagan was still too little to care then, haha. But it ended up being a really fun day that we said we would have to make a sort of tradition. They were running a sale on gift cards at the time which we took advantage of, and for an entire year I held on to those gift cards. Problem is, Build-A-Bear is uh...$$$. Especially when you have multiple kids. If we were to purchase stuffed animals for all four of our children and let them pick out even the simplest of outfits to put on their furry friends, it would cost anywhere from $110-$140. For stuffed animals. No. I don't even like stuffed animals all that much.

But...the gift cards. We couldn't just let them go to waste. We had just enough to purchase ONE complete stuffed animal, so I thought...since Charlotte doesn't really have any toys of her very own yet, maybe we could turn this into an excuse to make a special gift just for her which the kids could bring to the hospital when she is born and give to her. Bingo - they totally went for that. :) We knew before we even left exactly what type of animal we wanted to get for baby sister, and the girls had fun finding just the right bunny to stuff and put together for her.





Reagan on the other hand...still not interested. :D "This love stuff is for sissies."

The girls had very specific wishes for their baby sister which they kissed and put inside of "Cupcake Sweets" before she was sewn up. :) We also couldn't resist putting a "beating heart" charm that vibrates inside of her...seemed appropriate for a newborn. Eric was not a fan of the extra beating heart charm...especially when he learned of the extra cost. Baha. His face.



It was a successful day! 

On Saturday Eric and I were able to sneak away for dinner, and we actually DIDN'T go grocery shopping - imagine that. A real date. Sort of. We ended up shoe shopping...for Eric. Haha. Our little excursion found us at Frontenac mall, which if you've been there...you know. It's oddly quiet...there are hardly any children...the whole place shuts down at 7:00pm on a Saturday...and if you're wearing your five year old Old Navy pea coat and forgot your pearls and perfectly quaffed hair at home you're looking a little out of place. :D

But we needed to make a very special stop at a very specific store for some dress shoes. Being in situations such as these throw me into a serious case of the giggles. It's just...we're beans and rice people, know what I mean? And it wouldn't matter if Eric made a bazillion dollars, we would always be beans and rice people. So while Eric was being fitted and I walked around the store, I had to stifle my laughter as I heard "Every president since Ronald Reagan has worn these exact same shoes. No kidding!" Sitting perched next to the hand-sewn made-in-America loafers were copies of "The Road to Serfdom" and "The Declaration of Independence" in convenient travel sizes which you could pick up and call your very own. I mean...it was so stereotypically awesome. They have their target customer down, and Eric Robert was on his mother-ship. We laughed about it the whole way home. :) And he thanked me profusely for spending Valentine's Day looking at men's shoes. I told him I didn't mind, and I really didn't. I don't care what we're doing as long as we're together! Aw.

We also had to squeeze in another tradition this weekend with the kiddos - heart shaped pizzas! The girls talk about this all.year.long. And this year they decided they wanted to make their own personal pizzas, too. I'm always surprised at how yummy these things turn out!



And then there was Sunday...and that...is where the fun starts to fizzle for this mom.

I woke up on Sunday morning exhausted. I somehow made it through Sunday School and church, despite being abnormally achy and tired - even for me. You know when you just feel...off? I definitely did. That afternoon we knew we needed to do our neglected grocery shopping, what with the impending snow storm and all (Aldi was CrAzY), and I fell asleep on the way there. I didn't have much of an appetite all day and actually felt a bit nauseous...but I didn't feel like I was getting sick, either. Of course I chalked it up to being pregnant.

That evening at home I started realizing how frequently I had been using the bathroom all day and then some totally strange things started going down in there, which I don't have to elaborate on cause if you've been a pregnant lady you get it. If you haven't...let's just say at that moment I realized what was going on. I was having all of the textbook symptoms of an impending labor. Let's not even talk about contractions, those have been nuts for quite a while now. And the back pain...ugh!

None of these things are odd for a woman in her last weeks of pregnancy. This is what a normal pregnancy looks like just before a baby comes. Only...not for me. Haha. This is not my normal pregnancy. My normal pregnancy has me acting and feeling the same right up to the very end. My body never shows any signs that baby is coming any time soon...and I am three for three on being induced a week or more past my due date. So on Sunday night I walked out of the bathroom like a deer in headlights realizing, "Holy crap. This may not be like all of the other times. This kid could come tomorrow for all I know."

I immediately went into panic checklist mode. I easily have a week's worth of stuff to do, from washing up baby gear to packing bags and getting things organized around the house. I have essentials I need to buy and errands that need to get done before I'm stuck at home with a nursing newborn for a while. Charlotte could come today or a week from today or two weeks from today...I have no idea, but she's definitely reserving her own mystery date. Again, normal for most of the population, but not for me! It's like I'm back at baby number one...totally unpredictable.

So yesterday was just a little bit nuts. I'm feeling like crap and pushing myself to press fast-forward on all of the baby preparations. I don't want to be stuck with a crusty car seat or a dusty bedroom or nothing ready to go to the hospital with. Eric likes to go to the gym on his days off, which I'm totally cool with, but I was left alone for several hours yesterday with my giant checklist and all three kids bent on destroying everything in sight while I lugged baby swings and bassinets up the basement stairs to be dissembled and washed.

I must have looked like a crazy woman. Bursts of energy would send me running around throwing in laundry and doing the dishes...then ten minutes later I was crashed on the couch...totally out of it. Haha. Thank goodness Eric was home later on and the kids got to go outside and enjoy the snow for a bit.



I could definitely feel those end of pregnancy hormones kicking in yesterday. I have no tolerance for wild kids or incompetence or...people...at the moment. :) Don't mess with me. Just don't do it. My biggest fear is that despite all of these symptoms I will still go right up to my due date which means two more weeks of this. I apologize in advance.

Today is doctor day, and I'm really curious to see if I've made any progress. I usually don't. :) And if given any options whatsoever to speed things along I will give a loud, resounding, NO. Haha. I was caught off guard this weekend, and even though this truly sucks, I do need all the time I can get to get my act together. The plus side is, the more work my body does now, the less it has to do on D-day. I just hope my family doesn't disown me before then! ;)

The kids are home from school today for a snow day, making this an EXTRA extra long weekend. I'm not sure yet if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Grace asked Eric so sweetly, "Did they cancel work again too, daddy?" Haha, no. Unfortunately they did not. This...could be interesting. Pray for us! :D

It was a great weekend with a weird ending. Charlotte, you are keeping your mama on her toes! I actually do feel a bit better today now that the baby swing, bouncer, and car seat are squeaky clean and back together. I'm off now to reassemble the bassinet, which always proves to be a puzzle, haha. Hope you all have a great day - stay warm!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well...we're a day early, but our Valentine's weekend started yesterday. :) This is going to have to be a quick one. Eric surprised us with the day off, so we're going to be scooting as soon as Evie gets out of school at 11:30 today to have a fun family day.


I am so excited that we have a new camera lens! It's been kind of a pain to blog lately because our good camera's one and only lens has been broken. We finally sent it off to be fixed and bought another lens we've been wanting anyway, so now I feel like I'm back in business. Seriously guys, if you have extra money coming in soon (cough cough tax return) and you're not sure what to do with it yet (ha!) you would not regret buying a good camera if you don't have one. Just sayin!

Evelyn is currently at school having all kinds of fun while Grace had her very first Valentine's party yesterday. It was so cute watching her go through all of her loot!



We carried on with a Valentine's tradition in our house - making sugar cookies. I'm not sure why this started several years ago, but we did it once and it sort of stuck. Now it just wouldn't be love season without some of great grandma's sugar cookies!



Reagan didn't actually participate in much of the cookie making. He was too worried about his darn harmonica. That kid carries this thing around with him everywhere - even slept with it last night. One day he might be interested in this other kind of stuff, haha.


 (All I have to say is, at least it's not a shrill recorder he insists on blowing around the house!)


We took a brief intermission for dinner. I never take pictures of our food, haha, but - new lens! I was taking pictures of everything last night just to get used to using it. It's a non-zooming lens, and it's a little awkward at first.


I'm not a cook. But steak night is so easy and done in like ten minutes. Therefore, we eat a lot of steak up in here. ;) Our kids are definitely carnivores. They lick the platter clean!

When it was time for decorating the girls totally took over. They knew just what to do and required no help from mom this year.



Though they may have made a giant sugar sprinkle mess that I still have to clean up, haha. Eric also surprised me last night by bringing home a movie that I have been wanting to see, so we attempted to watch that after this. Got ten minutes in before we were swarmed by the kid brigade, and we abandoned ship. :) Kid cuddles win over "cadult" movies, as Gracie would say. 

Now I'm looking forward to taking the kids out for a surprise day! I actually have to get dressed in real pants now, so I have to skidaddle. But I hope you all have a great weekend! With your significant other...with your kids...with your friends or family...whomever you love! We sure do love you! :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tiny Dancers

I can't even handle the internet today. I'm not kidding, this pregnant lady is a blubbering idiot reading about all of the random acts of kindness sweeping our community. Typically I think RAOK's are quiet, subtle ways to show someone we know or don't know that we love and care about them. But you know what...sometimes it's just good and encouraging to hear the stories behind them. If you aren't following this page you totally should. You will be blessed!

All this crying is giving me crazy contractions, though. Haha.  Speaking of that...I need to brag on our parents a bit for the ridiculous kindness they show us every single day. They seriously go above and beyond for our family. As I near the end of this pregnancy (just like with all of my pregnancies before this one) it becomes increasingly difficult for me to drive any significant distance. For some reason, riding in the car starts insane contractions for me. The later in my pregnancy, the worse it gets. At least when I'm the passenger I can shift and move a bit and attempt to get more comfortable, but when I'm driving I'm just stuck. Not to mention exteremely distracted!

Without hesitation our parents volunteer to watch kids or drive me to meet Eric halfway for my doctor's appointments. They inconvenience their day so that ours can be easier. And I can't tell you how much I appreciate them for all that they do. My doctor's office is an hour away, so it's literally an event every time - at least a three or four hour event. Now that we are down to weekly appointments it's a very frequent event...and still they are there. My mom and mother in law will definitely be showing ME an act of kindness today as they entertain my kiddos and drive me to meet Eric so that we can check up on Charlotte. Just knowing they are there for us is my blessing for the day!

But that's not the only way they help. :) The girls have been having so much fun taking ballet and tap lessons on Monday nights. This is totally Eric's mom's project with the girls. She takes them every week, and it will be the perfect excuse for them to have a way to get out of the house after the baby gets here. Last night Eric was able to stop by and peek in on his way home from work.



He reports that it is ridiculously cute watching them. :) I'm happy to be able to see them through pictures and videos while I wait at home with Reagan and cook dinner. The girls are usually starving when they get home! I definitely want to go to some of their classes, though. I can't miss out on ALL of the fun. ;)


There are a couple of other girls from both their school and Sunday School that happen to be in their same dance class, and they think that is the neatest thing.


Evie and Grace are already talking about their first recital, which they tell me is in June. They've only been in the class for three weeks, but Evie walks around the house saying, "Plie and straight, plie and straight." Haha. Ballet is their favorite part. :)


Evelyn and Grace have asked to take dance classes for quite a while, and I'm thankful for a grandma who can make that happen for them. I never want to take for granted how special it is for our kids to have grandparents who are able to be close and active in their lives. I know that is a rare thing for many these days!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful day today, no matter where you are. I hope you are blessed and able to be a blessing!



Monday, February 9, 2015

Come Back, Weekend, Come Back!

If I slur my words, it's because Reagan is in a lovely sleep regression and I am tiiiired. (I just had to re-type that sentence, because it made no sense the first time.) But the weekend was awesome! I am refreshed.

Miss Charlotte is a fully cooked baby! We've finally reached the 37 week mark...which for me typically means another good month before I'm holding a baby in my arms, haha. But still - a wonderful milestone. No more worries of a pre-term birth here! Who needs two umbilical arteries, anyway? Not this kid, apparently. ;)

Friday evening was wonderfully relaxing. It was a family movie night, but sort of without the family. We have finally gotten to that point where all of our kids are old enough to choose their own movie and entertain themselves while mom and dad can actually enjoy an adult movie - you know, one that's not animated - in another room. Everyone is happy! I think Eric and I have watched more of our own movies in the last few months than we have in the past five years. We all end up piled in the same bed at some point anyway, but it is nice to get a little bit of mom and dad time at home. :) 

Saturday brought beautiful weather and some normalcy back in our lives. The girls went to the Eagle Festival with their grandparents during the day....


I don't have any pictures of them with eagles, but I do have this one that was sent to Eric and forwarded to me, haha. I know they had a really great day!

For the first time in over a month we were able to go out for a date night - woot! Between meetings, parties, and sickness, all of our Saturdays have been spoken for. And since we are definitely creatures of habit, it was a treat just to be back to normal!

While out and about, I remembered I needed to snap another baby bump picture...only...I was in the car, sitting down, and there are only so many ways you can take a picture and get your stomach in it when you are riding down the road.


Haha, I'm pretty sure this is the least flattering angle ever, but I knew if I didn't take it while I was thinking about it I would just forget. :) I get a kick out of looking back at pictures with my big ole pregnant belly, and I promised myself I'd try to take more this time. I'm still not doing so well at it.

It was my turn to teach in Sunday School on Sunday morning. We had fun with some science experiments and crafts while learning about the importance of giving and what miraculous things God can do when we give faithfully. Even the smallest gifts can make a huge impact with God's power...like when over 5,000 people were fed with only two fishes and five loaves of bread. A fun lesson!

But seriously...my kids were RASCALS. Especially Evelyn. I think I've shared here before about how I've toyed with the idea of homeschooling my kids. I really, actually, want to in my heart. I love teaching - love it. I'm just a couple of classes and one semester of student teaching away from having a degree in Elementary OR Secondary Education. But if there is one thing I have seen this school year it's that my kids would not thrive with me as their teacher. Grace and Evelyn take academic instruction wonderfully from other adults, but when it's mom in charge - forget it. They won't focus for me at all. It's frustrating...but...at least I know that they LOVE school. We'll never close those doors to the possibility of homeschooling - so many appealing benefits that I still pine for. Sigh. But until or unless we see a real need for it, regular school serves them best. So do other Sunday School teachers, haha.

Anyway. On Sunday afternoon we were able to get out and WALK. We were sick during the last winter warm up, so this was our very first walk of 2015. There will be many many more - with TWO double strollers. :)


I know it looks like we were really bundled, but halfway through the walk the kids ditched their blankets and we were HOT. Especially this mama. Oh my gosh. So in all of our excitement we decided to take our longer route (which for real...feels like it's uphill the ENTIRE way, haha) and this pregnant lady was huffing it. My heart and my mind said go go go...and my body said "You're an idiot."

Oh, but it was glorious! Truly amazing what fresh air can do you for you. We hoped it would knock our kids out (they all needed naps!) but nope. I think it invigorated them, too. I hope Charlotte is a good walking baby. :)

Today I am exhausted and achy, but it was all worth it. I needed the family time and the husband time. I needed to get back in the groove of church and normal nights. Routine is how I charge my batteries...introverts, you get it!

I also wanted to make sure to share something before it's too late! This week is recognized as an official week for people to ban together and perform random acts of kindness. There is a special facebook page I invite my friends to join that celebrates these acts of kindness in honor of the two young women who recently lost their lives in a car accident in our community. It has caught national attention, and it's a place where you can go to get encouraged or maybe even get some ideas of your own. I know so many of you already know all about this, but for those who don't, it's not too late to join. TOMORROW is the day that is the big push for acts of kindness - one month from the day of the accident. I just encourage everyone to participate, big or small. Just like the lesson our preschoolers and kindergartners learned this week. It really doesn't matter how small the gift...even a smile...it can be used to make a BIG impact - often bigger than we know.

Hope you all have a great day! 


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What a Beautiful Mess We're In

I was sitting on the table at the doctor's office yesterday, my slightly puffy feet dangling bare below me...it was the awkward wait between "Go ahead and take off everything from the waist down," and the doctor's soft knock on the door...when I noticed the indentions on my ankles where my socks had just been. I cocked my head to the side like a puppy and thought, "I wonder if I put ice cubes on my fat if it would pop back up faster like it does on carpet."

It's a legitimate question, I think.

I'll make sure to try it sometime and let you know.

Charlotte is wonderful, by the way. Wonderful...and huge. My child weighs 6 pounds, 8 ounces already. She's measuring several days ahead...her head is about a week bigger than average. I'm starting to wonder if all of the newborn clothes I bought will even fit her when she comes out, haha. But isn't that what we prayed for all along? "Please God, let her grow. Just let this baby grow!"

Well she grew and grew and grew. Kind of hoping she sloooows it down over the next four weeks. Put a little too much oomph in those prayers or something. :) No but really, so thankful for her continued growth and health! She's a blessing.

You know, it kind of makes me sad sometimes when I think back to the days when I only had one baby at home. I see pictures of Evelyn when she was itty bitty and then I look at her now, and it's just nuts how fast all of that growing stuff happened. Five years encompasses her entire life, but it doesn't seem like much at all in mine. Somehow, even though it's hard to wrap my mind around it now, that one child took up as much of my time and attention as the 3.5 children I have now. I often think, "Man - I can't imagine what I could do with just one!" but then I put myself in my own shoes five years ago and realize that being a mom is being a mom. One or three or five or more...once you take the plunge, that's it. Your life just doesn't completely belong to you anymore. I actually think I got less done when I had less kids. Does that sound crazy to you? Because it does to me! Makes no sense, but mommy math rarely does.

ANYWAY. I say these things because I'm thinking about my oldest daughter today and the funny little person she has become. She is SMART. Too smart for her own good...some might call her a little devious at times, because she plots. Up until now we have usually been able to catch her in the middle of her hijinks, but she pulled one over on us yesterday.


There are a few benefits to having a mom who works at the school your children attend. I get the inside scoop on a lot of things I would otherwise know nothing about when it comes to my kiddos every day. :) Apparently Evelyn came bouncing into the cafeteria yesterday with a shiny, tin, Tinkerbell lunch box in hand and a big ole satisfied smile on her face. Instead of following her classmates in line to get a hot lunch, she sat down with her lunchbox and began unpacking her feast.

But my mom, who has literally seen Evelyn walk into that cafeteria hundreds of times over the past two years, knew that something was up. Evelyn never brings her lunch to school. So like any good grandma, she went out to investigate.

"Did you bring your lunch to school today Evelyn?" she asked. Keeping it casual, you know, stating the obvious.

"Yep!" she said with a smile.

"Well, what did you bring to eat?" asked the wise grandmother.

Evelyn proudly showed her the contents of her lunchbox: a string cheese, a bottle of water, and four powdered donuts.

I am winning no mother of the year awards over here, but even my mom knows I wouldn't have sent my child to school with that lunch, haha.

"Does your mom know that you brought your lunch today?"

Evie smiled her biggest smile and slowly shook her head no. Oh, but she was so proud of that lunch she had packed and successfully smuggled out the door that morning. I can just see her sneaking around the kitchen and filling that tin box...slipping it into her book bag...then later at school enthusiastically raising her hand when her teacher asked who brought their lunch that day. Ahahaha. I told Eric all about it and he said, "So that's why she asked me to hold her book bag this morning and asked, 'Does it feel heavier than usual to you, daddy?'"

She played it right under our noses, practically begged to get caught, and we were totally duped. :)

We could not resist ribbing our oldest about this all night long. She thought, and still thinks, it was totally funny. I mean, so do we, but the parents in us had to remind her that string cheese and powdered donuts do not a nutritious lunch make. And being sneaky, while quite hilarious after the fact, is probably not the best idea. Homegirl will not be packing her own lunches for a while, haha. Heaven help us, we have years and years of this stuff to come. First it's smuggled lunch boxes, then what comes next? Not sure I want to know!


In other news, Eric is the "S" word, again. I won't even say it because it is a dirty dirty word in this house. He's home from work, and I cannot believe that it has come back. I'm in denial. And Gracie is itching all over from something that we cannot figure out. She walks around the house doing a little contorted tribal jig to scratch all of her itchy places. We are a mess. So let this bring encouragement to all who read this today. No matter how messed up your day is, at least your not "one of those crazy Roberts!" Just give us a TV show already. Or at least a circus act. We would make an excellent side show. If you're interested in joining just go ahead and hop in our clown car. Next stop - dysfunction junction.

Later taters!



Monday, February 2, 2015

Welcome February!

I realized over this weekend that I haven't updated with a baby bump picture in...er...ever? Have I ever put one here, other than the very first one? I am SO BAD about documenting my pregnancies this way.  Ya'll know I am not the queen of selfies...just not good at it. In fact, I had to take like five before I got one that didn't cut off my head, and this is the best I got. :)

36 weeks!

So there she is for those who don't get to see me very often. Eric commented the other day that, "You don't look as big this time as with some of the others." And I agree...though I still have a month to go, and I've been known to really balloon up the last month or so, haha. We have our first weekly appointment today, so we'll get a better idea of where we are in terms of progress, and it also happens to be an ultrasound appointment. This might be the last peek we get inside before she is born - we'll see!

This weekend was pretty swell, I have to say. It was so good to get out with the family for a little while and to watch my kids laugh and run around and have fun. Friday wasn't so great for poor Gracie. She was feverish, achy, had a terrible headache, and tried to sleep most of the day away. BUT. That kid. She has the craziest immune system of anyone I have ever seen. You can literally watch her body fight off an infection - and win, nearly every time. She has one day, or sometimes even half a day, where she is down for the count. Her white blood cells come marching in and do their thing, and by that night or the next day you would never know she had just been sick (or that something attempted to make her sick.) It's insane, and I wish her soldier cells could put the rest of ours through boot camp sometime. :) Lucky duck!

The kids had been looking forward to John's 7th birthday party, and I was so glad when Grace woke up on Saturday like a new kid. We would all be able to go - the first time in a month that we've been able to get out and do something all together. John's party was supposed to be several weeks before, but it was rescheduled because half of the party guests were sick!

It was a bounce house birthday party - perfect for a bunch of kids who desperately needed to get out and burn off some energy!



Can't even tell you how happy it made me to see all of the smiles. Sometimes we take for granted just being "normal."




It was also a PIZZA party, and my kids were ready to EAT. Haha. I'm telling you...their appetites since being sick...crazy!



I can't believe that John is seven - SEVEN! He came to my parents at just a couple of weeks old...I remember Eric and I would sit on the couch with him and talk and coo and play. It had been quite a while since there was a baby in the house, and we thought he was the cutest thing! John was just a little squirt at our wedding that September. Now look at him!



I love that the kids in our family get just as big of a kick out of funny cards as they do the gifts, haha. If it's funny or plays music, you're golden. :)

So fun!

Reagan might have had just a little too much fun at this shindig, because he kept me up ALL.NIGHT.LONG on Saturday night. Up and down, up and down...and when he got up, he did not want to go back down. He and I ended up missing church the next day, because I was a zombie. So the rest of the family went without us, and yesterday afternoon Eric and I took our normal errands date for the weekend. It was wonderful to get out with him! Last night Eric took a test which was a big hurdle in getting closer to his CFP certification. We may have been a bit pathetic so far in 2015, but he has been killing it with all of his goals for the year already. Proud of him!

Now here we are today - it's Groundhog's Day! I haven't heard any news on the shadow thing yet - but if that thing knows what's good for him....

Haha.

Looking forward to checking up on Charlotte and having a normal week! Let's see if all of the contractions I've been having have done any good. ;) Happy week, friends!

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