August 29, 2017

thea's ice cream birthday party

Leading up to Thea's birthday party, my mom was worried because we weren't 'doing' as much as we had for previous parties.  We didn't craft a lot of decorations or special favors.  There weren't any extensive backdrops made.  I kept it simple because I just didn't have the energy to come up with anything too complicated.  Also I originally planned to have the party at our house, just having the kids play in the backyard.  But the weeks prior the weather was miserably hot and I couldn't imagine asking everyone to hang out back there.  So we switched to a swimming party at my parent's house.  Naturally I think the high ended up being maybe 82?  It was beautiful in the shade.

Still, I'm glad we made the switch, and the laid back party was perfect, everyone seemed happy, I wasn't stressed, Thea gasped at every decoration and every present and ate plenty of ice cream and overall just had a great time.

We had the party at 3:30pm.  To eat there was an ice cream bar, a cake made by one friend Jennifer, and cookies made by my other friend Jennifer!  Those girls definitely know how to make adorable (and delicious) sweets.  We also had some cheddar squares and chex mix.  The pink bowls for toppings came from Hyvee, the jars for the syrups from the dollar store, and pretty much everything else we already had or I got on Amazon.

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My parent's pool is wonderful for swimming with smaller kiddos.  The shallow end is more of a deck, maybe only 18 inches or so deep?  And the deep end doesn't even quite reach 6 feet.  It makes it much easier to keep track of little ones, and allows the adults to relax a little bit.  :)

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I've already got my eyes set on a mermaid pool party for next summer.  Hopefully the little miss doesn't develop any strong opinions before then.  Wishful thinking I'm sure!!  Haha.

August 25, 2017

eighteen weeks | baby five

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written August 25th
 
how far along:  18 weeks + 5 days (compare to 18 weeks with Ryann, Elsie and Thea)

size of baby:  A sweet potato. 

weight gain: Uhhhh........ +12 pounds.  I don't even know anymore.  I'm struggling to make good food choices.  But I don't really feel like I'm eating in complete excess either.  I don't know what to think.  Next week I'm going to try sticking to the Beachbody container system (allowing extra containers for pregnancy) and see if I can get my eating back on track.  This pregnancy is a short season in my life, and I have no intention of doing pregnancy again, so I'm trying not to dwell too much.  BUT, I also don't want to end up on delivery day with 40+ pounds gained.  Some women do and their body needs that and that is fine.  There is no way my body needs 40 pounds to safely carry this baby.  

maternity clothes:  Yes.  Regular shirts are quickly feeling too short and I'm not going to even try to squeeze into regular pants.  I need to find some different solutions for workout and lounge wear.  I don't remember hating my workout pants, but they have been folding over and it is driving me nuts.

symptoms: As the belly grows I'm starting to notice some issues bending to do things and getting up and down off the floor.  And I am still getting headaches here and there, I get tired, and have a bit of heartburn or reflux or something.  Overall though, I'm feeling pretty dang good right now.  I feel like we need to do ALL THE THINGS.  Cleaning the things, organize the things, cook the things, have fun, go out to eat, do it ALL like yesterday.  Before this burst of energy disappears and I go back to wanting to be a hermit.  Which means by like 8pm I'm so ready for bed.

exercise:  Thanks to the weight gain and sudden burst of energy, I'm trying to jump back into doing videos in the morning.  Being able to go on a walk after Ryann heads off to school is also helping.  I've done a Beachbody video  every day since Saturday.  I'm sore, but enjoying it.  And I'm just going to take a moment to say I think purchasing the Beachbody on demand, if you like working out at home, is a GREAT investment.  I wasn't thrilled with the gym options when we moved here, but missed the motivation of group classes and being surrounded by people.  I still have to mentally motivate myself to keep going, but there are so many different kinds of workouts to try, many topping at out 35 minutes, that you don't get bored.  I like the 21 Day Fix, Core de Force, Shift Shop, Cize, and some others that I can't remember.  The first two being my favorites.  I'm not a coach, nobody is giving me anything for promoting Beachbody, I just think you should consider it.  :)

cravings/aversions:  I just want all the food.

movement:  I'm pretty sure I started feeling movement last Wednesday (August 16th at 17w3d).  It isn't consistent at all, and barely noticable, but now I definitely know it is movement.  So exciting, this might start feeling real soon!

sleep:  Not too much to complain about in this department.

gender:  Girl

looking forward to:  Movement getting stronger and starting to work on moving all the girls around and redecorating a bit.  Moving everyone around is also stressing me out but whatever.  It's fine.

worries:  I'm still struggling a bit to connect to this pregnancy.  I've got the other three girls to keep me busy so that isn't much of a surprise, but I feel like I've got a wall up that I just can't break through.  It doesn't matter that we've talked about names or that I've started dreaming up how to freshen up the nursery.  I just can't make the connection.  Hopefully soon.

best moment this week:  Feeling movement is pretty great.  Also every time I tuck Thea in for nap or bedtime she smiles up at me and says "I gonna have a baby sister.  I gonna hug her and kiss her and hold her."  It is so flipping cute.  Hopefully she doesn't change her tune once baby is here, or you know, smother her or something.

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And tossing in this photo I snapped of the belly at 17 weeks.  My size is highly dependent on what I've had to eat that day.  On this particular night it was Chipolte (a salad, but still).  No surprise I looked much further along than 17 weeks in my opinion!

August 17, 2017

thea's second birthday

Oh hey insomnia.  Guess I might as well blog right?

Celebrating Thea's birthday was simply just so much fun.  To begin with, Ryann and Elsie really understand birthday's and celebrating someone so they were so excited to shower Thea with love and really pumped her up.  And beyond that, Thea had quite possibly the best reaction to everything.  She spent the whole day squealing with delight about presents and treats and people and just everything.  It definitely made everything worth it.

Naturally the little stinker was up with the sun.  Christopher, Ryann and I went in her room, that we had filled with balloons the night before, and sang her happy birthday.  She was a bit stunned at first, but quickly came around just shrieking and throwing balloons in the air.  We had a giant Olaf balloon waiting downstairs for her as well and she loved it just as much.  Then her and I took off for a doughnut shop to pick out breakfast for everyone.

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After breakfast we played a bit, then got ready for the day.  Ryann headed off to art camp (so lucky to have a neighbor who had kiddos in the same camp who generously took Ryann for me!) and the littles watched a show while I finished getting myself together.  We took photos for Thea's twenty-four month post and then it was off to the Discovery Center!  The girls absolutely love that place.  We don't go as often as we'd like, because despite sanitizer and hand washing, someone always winds up with at minimum a cold roughly two days later (this time it was Thea, boogers galore the day after her birthday party!).  Elsie and Thea had a lot of fun.  The spent a ton of time in the painting area, and also went about 20 minutes just loading and unloading a couple bags with fake vegetables.

We picked up Ryann from camp at noon and headed to Chili's for lunch.  It has become the one restaurant we can go to and I know that everyone will eat something.  This particular day I'm pretty sure Thea only ate chips and salsa (one of her favorites!) and french fries.  She also enjoys mac and cheese and pizza from there (typical) but she had her own little bowl of salsa and just couldn't stop with the chips.  I guess you do what you want on your birthday.

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We went home for nap time, and I was apparently just as worn out as Thea was, because I passed out too.  Chris only works half days on Thursdays, so once Thea was up we gathered her presents and headed to my parents to open them.  Her favorite gift was probably a bunch of little plastic Disney princesses that I got from the check out lines at Walmart.  Figures!  We followed gifts up with swimming, dinner and cupcakes.  Thea pretty much smiled and giggled all day long.  It was great.

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probably should have taken the family picture before she was covered in cupcake

Thea I'm sure you won't remember this birthday, but I won't forget it.  Your excitement over every little thing was just the best.  I can't wait to experience the holiday season with you this year!

August 7, 2017

News to Share

Our family is very much looking forward to hopefully starting 2018 on a much more positive note than we did 2017...

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We've got another baby on the way.  And it's another baby girl at that!  The girls are so very excited, and talk about their baby sister everyday.  I have zero personal space as they are all constantly trying to 'hug and kiss' baby sister.  I plan to do a separate post about how this pregnancy has been in regards to the miscarriage, but for a now I'll answer a few of the regular questions I get...

When are you due?  January 21st!  My OB's office claims the 19th, but I'm pretty certain I didn't ovulate quite that early.  We'll see how early this baby gets herself kicked out, but it is pretty likely that she'll be a 2018 baby.

How did you find out the sex so early?  Early genetic testing, aka free cell DNA testing.  It isn't always covered by insurance for women under 35, and I couldn't get a clear answer on what our cost will be, but we haven't seen a bill yet.  Hoping it isn't more than $100-$200.

We're you trying for a boy?  Four kids has kind of always been my number.  After Thea was another girl we were hesitant to have a fourth, simply because four girls sounded slightly terrifying, but when it really came down to it we were happy to bring home a baby of either sex.  We won't keep having kids.  Four was our max.

Do you already have a name picked out?  Nope, feel free to leave suggestions.  :o)  Preferably not in the social security top 100 list, and nothing that starts with a B.

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I have written a handful of pregnancy updates.  They are now posted, but back dated.  If you'd like to easily read through them, click pregnancy #5 in the sidebar.

Four kids, four girls, it is going to be quite the crazy ride.  But we're very much looking forward to bringing home another baby and praying for her safe arrival.  And I mean seriously, how much crazier could it get?

August 6, 2017

sixteen weeks | baby five

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written August 6th
 
how far along:  16 weeks (compare to 16 weeks with Ryann, Elsie, and Thea)

size of baby:  Perhaps a dill pickle, but I feel like those can vary in size quite a bit.  I don't think the app has actual measurements on it which drives me nuts, because the older girls always want to know "but like really, how big is she mama?" 

weight gain: Last time I checked, which was earlier this week, it was +5 pounds.  But I also had a craving for bread and butter the last two days so.....  

maternity clothes:  I found my maternity shorts!  So yes.  Not fighting it anymore and enjoying letting my waist breathe again.

symptoms: Some headaches and tiredness, but overall not too much going on.  I do get some round ligament pain here and there.

exercise:  I've tried to do two videos a week, plus a daily walk or run.  Still nothing extensive, but moving none the less.  It has been hard when I wake up with headaches because bending over just makes my head throb.

cravings/aversions:  Fruit and bread with butter.

movement:  Not yet.  Last night I might have maybe possibly felt a tiny twinge, but I think I imagined it.  Or it was gas.  Who knows.  I'm hoping in the next two weeks I'll be able to really feel something!

sleep:  I've been falling asleep on the couch or in one of the kids beds and then waking up in the middle of the night.  Overall my sleep is ok, I just need to actually sleep in my bed.  And naps feel so good.  

gender:  Girl

looking forward to:  Our ultrasound, which is still like five or six weeks away.  Even though that doesn't guarantee this pregnancy will go to term, I think if we have a healthy report at the ultrasound I'll feel like I can really move forward with what we need to do to prepare for this little girl in our life.  It's going to be a bedroom shuffle around here.

worries:  Last night that I dreamed I was in the hospital to have a D&C.  I haven't really had any dreams about miscarriage or anything this pregnancy, so it caught me off guard and scared the hell out of me.  Thankfully I was able to find her heartbeat right away with the doppler, but it still just left me feeling a little vulnerable.

best moment this week:  On Friday I posted this picture on social media...

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Honestly I had intended to share our news in my 14th week, because the belly was starting to take shape, but, it just felt scary to actually put it out there.  Despite several people already knowing.  I'm not ashamed or scared to talk about the pregnancy, or my miscarriage, but that doesn't mean it is easy to start either conversation either.  I've had a difficult time connecting to this pregnancy, despite truly wanting to embrace it.  I'm sure that is completely normal.  But I still feel so detached.  Putting it out there, it just makes the whole thing so real, and now I have to face it a little more head on.  I'm excited to be expecting, there is no doubt about that.  But I don't think I'll really truly relax until I'm holding my girl.

All that being said, the loving and warm responses I received definitely filled my cup, and I appreciate it so much.  So thank you, everyone, for showing myself and my family so much love.  The internet and social media can be a dark and evil place, where people feel as though they can say anything to anyone.  But it is also a community filled with loving and caring people.  Thank you thank you.

I did want to mention that I was also apprehensive about 'announcing' on social media, because I know it can be a trigger for people who have also dealt with miscarriage, or infertility, and many other things.  But for myself, personally, I would much rather come across an announcement on my social media channels than find out from someone in person.  I appreciated having the time to process and feel in my own way before having to have a conversation about someone's pregnancy face to face, whether it be with that person directly or in conversation with a friend.  I also wouldn't want anyone to cover up their joy and happiness, simply to protect my feelings.  Though it may be hard for some, every new life deserves to be celebrated.  If it is too tough to handle, look away.  Unfollow.  I absolutely don't blame you.

Again, thank you to everyone for your support.  It is very much felt and appreciated.

August 5, 2017

thea - twenty four months

Two.  She's TWO!  I can't believe you're already two Miss Thea.  Of course I can't remember life without you, and I certainly wouldn't want to go back to life without you.  You bring the family so much joy.  But man, how can you already be two-years-old?

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I just... this kid is so damn cute.  I'm sure her older sisters were equally adorable, but Thea just gets to me in the best ways.  She is still my best cuddler, kisses my booboos, lovingly plays with my hair, and is just all around awesome.  Yes, she has her moments.  Often trying to get clothes on her is like trying to wrestle an alligator.  And her favorite past time is running into the pantry to steal food.  Should you come between her and her quest, watch out.  Definitely need to come up with a better pantry locking mechanism.  She has just plain ripped the knob cover straight off the door.

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Despite Thea's absurdly picky eating habits, the girl is still growing like crazy.  She measured in at 35.5 inches (93rd percentile) and weighed 29lbs5oz (81st percentile).  Seriously, her doctor asked if she loved eating (well yes) because she is growing so well.  How she continues to get taller without getting wider is beyond me, the carb and chocolate fanatic.  Last night she hurled herself at my feet and cried "I just want choc-wit!" I fell ya girl, I really do.  This morning she was playing in her closet and wanted to try on all the shoes in one of the bins.  They are fall shoes, size six, which I was expecting her to wear in the next two months, but not a single freaking pair would squeeze on her chubby little feet.  She hasn't worn ANY of them! I know she is in opposite seasons as Ryann and Elsie, but I can't believe she just missed all of those. I need to pull out the 7's to see if we're going to have to invest in some new ones.  Which sounds ridiculous when you're on your third child of the same sex.  She is solidly in size 2 clothing, but size 3 pajamas certainly don't seem big.  I have a feeling we'll bust out of the 2's before I'm ready.

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Thea has absolutely ZERO interest in potty training.  She still freaks out any time we attempt to sit her on the toilet. (Ok I swear I just have to start typing the crap in a post and then she has to prove me wrong before I post. I thought I'd finish this post last night, but didn't. Today she has willing sat on the toilet twice, even though she hasn't done anything.)  I ask her regularly if she wants to be a big girl and wear undies like her sisters and she pretty much just says nope.  One day she looked at me and said "I not a baby IN-eee MOWRE!" So I responded, "Not a baby? So you're going to be a big girl and wear underwear and sit on the potty seat?!?!?"  She pondered for a moment, "Ee-uh a baby.  I wear diapers."  Alrighty then.  She also excitedly took a nap on a toddler bed at my Aunt and Uncle's house over the 4th of July.  Went right to sleep and napped something like three hours.  I asked her if she wanted a bed like that at home.  "No, I sweep in my cwib."

In the sleep department things haven't changed much.  Thea is incredibly easy to put to bed which is great, and something I never could have imagined a year ago when I was still nursing her to sleep.  We read two books, since three very short songs, and into her crib she goes.  She almost never wakes up in the middle of the night.  There was one night last week that she was crying (in her sleep I'm pretty sure), and Chris and I just looked at each other like what on Earth do we do with that?  I haven't had to tend to her in the middle of the night since I don't even know when.  And she is still content to just play in her crib for an undetermined amount of time when she wakes up in the morning or from nap.  There was one day when she was singing and babbling to herself, and after about 15 minutes I finally realized she was standing up yelling "Mommy I need you!"  Whoops.  She had a super saggy wet diaper and wanted it off.  Lol.  She generally sleeps from 8pm until 5:45-6:15am, and naps from 1-4pm ish.  I've tried cutting her nap a bit shorter, but it hasn't seemed to make a huge difference in when she wakes up in the morning.  Sometimes she'll sleep until 7:30am and there is no correlation.  So we'll just roll with it.

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Though her speech can still be incredibly hard to understand, she is stringing together pretty mature sentences.  I've counted 7-8 words in a row, and really she can hold a conversation, you just have to be patient.  The words do not come out in a fluid manner, her phrases are very staccato in delivery.  And really sometimes I just don't have a freaking clue what she is saying.  For the most part she doesn't get upset about it though.  If it is something she can show me, she will tell me such, and direct me to whatever it is she is wanting, or trying to tell me about.  Or if it wasn't important, eventually she just gives up and moves on.  Sorry kid!  Some of my favorite phrases as of late are, "Come on, let's do it!"  and "I no want to do dat!", mostly because I can appreciate the fact that she can verbalize her likes and dislikes.  She still throws incredible fits but she CAN use her words, especially if she is reminded to do so.  And I still have a soft spot for her "Why you do dat?"  I tend to use it with everyone in the family now, if they do something they shouldn't have.  And a cute little conversation we had the other day...

Thea:  "Where Dada go?"
Me:  "Daddy had to go to work."
Thea:  "I wuv Daddy."
Me:  "Daddy loves you too girlie."
Thea:  "Daddy wuv mama too!"

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She occasionally tries to sing the alphabet, but just repeats a few letters over and over again.  She can count to 13, but almost always skips 5 and 10.  I think part of it is out of spite now, we correct her so often that I'm pretty sure she does it on purpose just to get a reaction.  Her listening ears at dance class have improved.  She is still often the ring leader of the not following directions club, but I can tell she gets enjoyment out of the songs and movements we do every week, and mostly just loses focus when we have to stand in a line and do things one at at time.  Then she is hanging off the ballet bars like a monkey.  I'm not sure we'll go every week throughout the school year, but thankfully her class would be during the same time that Elsie is in class, so it is something we can easily do frequently.

Yellow and purple are still her preferred colors.  She is obsessed with the Disney princesses.  We got her several little figurines that we found in the check-out aisles at Walmart for her birthday, and she carries around a ziploc bag with them on the regular.  Actually one day she woke up from nap in tears and when I asked her why she was crying she said "I want my pwincesses!"  Haha.  Elsa and Anna remain the favorites, and we are now the proud owners of several Elsa dolls.  Thanks friends, she is loving it.  The day after Thea's birthday, my parents took the girls to the Toy Store because there were going to be some princess actresses there.  My mom said Thea absolutely lost her mind freaking out when she spotted Anna.  Her excitement over things is just the best.  Ariel is her next favorite, and then Belle.  Everyone else is just icing on the cake.

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She says Elsie is her best buddy, but she really loves both her sisters and always wants to know what they are doing.  Of course she is learning to fight back more and more when they take her toys, and has ripped out several chunks of Elsie's hair (karma).  But she loves to hug tackle them to the ground and wrestle them and just play with them all the time.  She gets sad when they go places and we're home by ourselves.  "Where Ryann and El-ee go? I want dem come home and pway wit me."

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Thea girl, despite our rough start and what seemed like months of endless screaming, I wouldn't change these last two years for anything.  I love you so much and I'm so grateful that God chose me to be your mommy.  I LOVE YOU.

July 25, 2017

fourteen weeks | baby five

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written July 25th

The cat is officially out of the bag as far as friends and family go.  We told the girls about the pregnancy and let them do a little gender reveal while we were in Georgia.  They were all so excited it made me happy.  And no one complained a bit about it being another girl.  One of the first things Elsie said to me was "The baby is going to drink milk out of your BODY." Yes, yes child, that is the plan.  I just thought it was cute that her mind went there right away.

I know that Thea doesn't really understand what is going on.  But even the night after we told them, when I was putting her to bed, she looked up at me completely unprompted and said "I gonna have a baby sister!"  And she has continued to say it at random times since.  At first she thought the baby was in her belly, but she has since stopped saying that.  She still gets so excited when she sees babies out in public, and wants to hold them all, so I can't wait to see her as a big sister.  But imaging her not being the baby is really hard as well.  Actually one of Elsie's friends looked at me and said "You're going to have TWO babies!" Initially I told her no no no, just one.  But then I realized she still counts Thea as a baby.  So yes, I'll have two babies.  :o)

I had a basic OB appointment on July 17th.  We could hear a strong heart beat and there aren't any other issues at the moment, so my next appointment is mid August at just shy of 18 weeks.
 
how far along:  14 weeks 2 days (compare to 14 weeks with Ryann, Elsie, and Thea)

size of baby:  A brilliant beat?  Ok Ovia app, whatever you say. 

weight gain:  I don't want to talk about it.  I don't even know today.  Probably something like +6 pounds.  Looking at those posts above I was clearly in MUCH better shape when I was pregnant with Elsie and Thea.  I'm trying not to dwell though, and keep moving, and know that after this baby (and when I'm done nursing) my body will belong to me and I have the rest of my life to be fit.  Not that I'm going to sit on the couch for the next six months or anything, but I'm not stressing. 

maternity clothes:  Still have no idea where my maternity shorts are.  My regular ones are uncomfortable, even my workout pants are kind of uncomfortable around my waist.  Loose elastic shorts or yoga pants are the only things I want to wear.  I'm ready for fall weather simply so I can bust out all my maternity jeans.

symptoms: Overall the symptoms are much much better.   I had a crappy couple days over the weekend (including a bout of dry heaving), but if I stay on top of Tylenol my headaches don't get too bad.

exercise:  I've gotten myself to do two videos on Beachbody on Demand, and gone running a few times thrown in there as well.  But mostly just walking.

cravings/aversions:  My preference is fruit, salads, and peanut M&Ms.  Heavy stuff just usually ends up making me feel sick, but I wind up eating it anyway.  Because I'm a glutton for punishment?  I don't know.

movement:  No, but we can hear her wiggling around like crazy on the doppler.

sleep:  If I fall asleep in my bed then I usually stay asleep, waking up once to pee.  But for the most part I haven't been awake in the middle of the night which is nice.  I have woken up with a headache several times, annoying.  

gender:  Girl

looking forward to: An ultrasound.  Trying to convince Christopher to bring a portable machine home because my ultrasound won't be until 22 weeks.  And movement.  Very ready to feel movement.

worries:  Too many to list, but they aren't making my anxiety flare too much so whatever.

best moment this week: We let the girls listen to the heartbeat on the doppler and the way their little faces lit up the moment they heard it nearly made me cry.  They were both in awe (Thea didn't really care).  And of course then we had to listen to all of their hearts with the doppler to hear the difference.  That was kind of fun.