May 30, 2017

six weeks | baby five

written May 30th
how far along:  6 weeks + 2 days (compare to 6 weeks with Elsie, 6 weeks with Thea)

size of baby: A Maine blueberry.  Baby is forming tiny little buds that will turn into arms, and his/her eyes are beginning to form.

weight gain:  +1 pound.  So down 1.5 from last week.  And I'm sure a few more pounds will follow, since almost NOTHING sounds good anymore.

maternity clothes:  nope

symptoms:  Nausea.  So much nausea.  No actual vomiting, but I really wish I could sometimes.  I'm tired too, and I can tell my ligaments are uncomfortable, I sometimes get sharp pains when I try to roll over in bed.

exercise:  Started off the week great with MMA Speed on Monday, by Tuesday during Upper Fix I kind of wanted to nap between exercises.  Wednesday I went for a short run, and honestly considered stopping to lay down on a bench.  By Thursday I felt like everything was going to make me throw up.  So I've been walking.  Well, with an easy short run on Saturday.  Meh.

cravings/aversions:  The Italian Night Club sandwich from Jimmy Johns.  I can't stop thinking about it.  Everything else sounds awful.

movement:  nope.

sleep:  Not bad.  

gender:  My gut says boy, but my brain says girl.  I think that is the result of being pregnant with a girl four times.  I've also thought it was a boy three out of the four, and clearly I've been wrong.  So who knows.

looking forward to:  I scheduled an ultrasound and my first appointment for next Friday (June 9th).  I'm anxious to see if there really is a little baby with a heartbeat in there.  And to talk to my doctor and find out if there will be any sort of a different plan for this pregnancy.

worries:  That something will go wrong and we'll have to put the girls through a loss again.  Overall they've done ok, but I know the loss is still on Ryann's mind a lot.  On Sunday at church their group I guess drew what they thought heaven would look like.  She drew a picture of her 'meeting the baby sister who's heart didn't work.'  I don't know how I managed not to lose it.

best moment this week:  I got my second HCG levels back.  They went from 378 to 9925 in a week, which is roughly a 36 hour doubling time.  Good news!

May 22, 2017

five weeks | baby five

written May 22nd
how far along:  5 weeks + 1 day

size of baby: Roughly the size of a black peppercorn.  Still tiny but when you think of the amount of growth that happens between a poppy seed and a peppercorn in just a week, it is pretty insane.  And by next week baby should be the size of a blueberry with a beating heart.  Is that not mind boggling?  You can talk science to me all day but I will never understand how it is possible for a spec to turn into a living breathing baby.  It truly is a miracle.

weight gain:  2.5 pounds.  Whoops.  All though Saturday was pretty bad in terms of food choices so I'm sure a chunk of it is just water weight.  However we currently have brownies in the house. Those aren't going to help.

maternity clothes:  nope

symptoms:  Really nothing this week.  My anxiety has subsided a bit which I'm thankful for.  But I don't feel pregnant in the least except for maybe some gas and bloating.  Those could be attributed to poor food choices too though.

exercise:  Mostly walking, a little bit of running, and actually Saturday morning I was feeling pretty good and finished five miles.  Going to try getting back to my videos/strength training this week, at least in modified forms in regards to my knee.  I'm still a little scared to attempt squats or lunges, or anything that puts a lot of pressure on my knees.

cravings/aversions:  Currently I could eat Mexican or southwestern food for every meal.  Also the southwest egg rolls from Chilis.  I've had them probably 3 times in the last month?  Which leads me to believe this is just a me craving and not a pregnancy craving.  Lol.

movement:  nope.

sleep:  Not bad.  

gender:  I don't have a clue.

looking forward to:  an ultrasound.  And being out of the first trimester.

worries:  Before I found out I was pregnant, I told myself if I was lucky enough to become pregnant again I was going to really embrace it.  With my loss I didn't write a single thing down until after she was already gone.  I didn't take any photos of my barely growing belly.  Nothing.  Now that I actually am pregnant, I'm excited, but knowing how quickly things can turn in the other direction, it is hard to get attached.  Not that I don't want to or I'm not trying, I truly want to try and enjoy this pregnancy no matter how long it lasts.  But I just feel, a lot of nothing.  And I honestly have to remind myself that I'm pregnant.  I'm really hoping seeing an ultrasound, even though I know a good one doesn't mean anything, will help me be able to 'feel' a little more.

best moment this week:  I've taken an absurd amount of pregnancy tests.  I just have.  This morning the test line was significantly darker than the control line.  I'm fairly confident I can rule out a chemical pregnancy, and I think I'm at a point where I can stop taking tests and I won't have anxiety about it.  But seriously, if you saw my bathroom drawer you'd think I am insane.

May 20, 2017

finding out | baby five

written May 20th

Since my miscarriage in January, I had been using ovulation predictor strips to try and keep up with where I was at in my cycle.  Prior to my pregnancy with Thea my cycles had ranged from 35 days to 50 days in length.  The ovulation strips help keep me from wasting nine million pregnancy tests.  I only had one period after Thea was born before getting pregnant again, so I was surprised that my cycles since the loss had stayed within 33-35 days.

During my fourth cycle since our loss, Elsie started talking A LOT about when we were having another baby.  I told her we couldn't know for sure that there would be another baby.  She would just reply "I know there will be another baby mom.  I just know."  It was kind of odd.  Also, Thea started randomly pulling the "I'm a Big Sister" book off the shelf in the playroom all the time.  It isn't easy for her to reach, I was always putting it back.  Yet every time I'd come in the playroom I'd find it on the floor.  Bizarre.

Soooo... I took a test at 10 days past ovulation (May 10th).  I had a little bit of hope, but really, was expecting a stark white test again.  Much to my surprise, after about two minutes there was the absolute lightest squinter of a line that I have ever seen.  Part of me thought it was all in my head, so I dipped another test.  Same result.  The line was so light, I really couldn't believe it.  And I felt, nothing.  A little bit of fear, a little bit of excitement, but mostly just nothing.  I debated saying something to Christopher, but I just wasn't ready.  All I could think about was whether or not the line would be darker in the morning, maybe it wouldn't be, maybe I caught another chemical pregnancy.  I went about my day, occasionally peeking at the tests again, just to make sure I was really still seeing something.  That evening I couldn't take it anymore, I said to Christopher, "so I might be pregnant."  "Oh yeah?"  "Yeah, maybe.  The test is so light."  I made him look at them, and he didn't give me a whole lot of confidence.  He said something along the lines of, "so where am I supposed to be seeing something?" Oy.  But he did said he could see what I was seeing.

The next morning I took another test.  It was still very very faint, but ever so slightly darker than the line the day before.  On Friday (May 12th) the test was definitely darker.  No longer something that I thought I was imagining.  So I dipped a digital test.  What seemed like a lifetime later, 'pregnant' popped up on the screen.  And a smile on my face.  I finally felt like I could breathe a little bit.  Like maybe this was really happening.

That evening we had plans to go to Top Golf with friends.  Chris said "you know they're going to figure you out."  I assured him I regularly don't drink, it wouldn't be a problem.  But then someone said in a group text, "you better be drinking with us!"  I made up some lame excuse about headaches and taking meds (which, in my defense, I had been having lots of headaches and was swallowing lots of tylenol).  And maybe two minutes after I walked through the door of her house they asked me if I was pregnant.  I don't have a good poker face and I can't keep a secret if directly asked, so bam.  Nine people now know that I'm approximately two seconds pregnant.  HA.  Really it doesn't phase me too much if people know.  I hate secrets.  But at that point (and now), I wasn't ready to openly talk about it.  When other people get excited the little voice in my head wants to say don't be.  You don't know how this will turn out.  I'm working on tuning that out.  And trusting that everything will work out however it is supposed to.

After making it through the weekend, I decided it was time to call an OB and figure out what kind of monitoring we'd be doing during the first trimester.  I couldn't make myself go back to the doctor in town.  The doctor I saw was nice enough, for sure, but I've heard nothing but bad things about another doctor in the practice and I was terrified I'd end up with her at some point, and I already had a negative association with the office, I just couldn't go back.  So I called up my OB's office in Kansas City.  The put in a request for blood work, and on Tuesday (May 16th) I had that drawn.  My HCG came back at 378 and progesterone was 21.  Both perfectly decent numbers for how far along I anticipated I was.  They asked me to repeat the blood work the following week, and from there we could schedule an ultrasound.  I'm hoping along with the ultrasound I'll be able to at least talk to a doctor and figure out if I should be taking baby aspirin or something, or if there is anything else precautionary I should be doing.

Something else to note from the first 10 days of this pregnancy, the girls have been talking about when we have a new baby ALL THE TIME.  It seems to be coming up at least once a day without any obvious reason.  Elsie was playing with Thea and said, "maybe if I'm really nice to Thea, God will let us have another sister."  Extremely cute, but also I desperately hope they don't think their behavior has any affect on whether or not we get to bring home another child.  And then for some reason Ryann and Elsie got into a big discussion about how rooms would work out if we had another baby, and who would help with what, things of that nature.  And both of them just sort of wonder out loud if they'll have another sibling.  Part of me just wants to tell them, because I think they'll find out if something goes wrong.  I don't know that I could hide my emotions.  But the other part of me wants to be able to protect them for as long as possible.  I don't know what to do in that regard.

For now though, I am pregnant.  And praying that this is our rainbow.

May 19, 2017

baby number four {part two}

This is the second post detailing the story of our fourth baby.  You can read the first part here.  I am sharing the details and the emotions from my miscarriage and D&C.  I am being rather blunt and open.  If that sort of thing bothers you please do not read.

When I woke up the morning after we found out our baby girl was gone, the sadness hit me like a truck.  Reality was setting in, all the emotions were flooding over me.  My body didn't know the difference.  I still felt sick.  But the perfect little baby inside me, it wasn't alive anymore.  I managed to pull it together long enough to get Ryann ready and get her on the bus.  Then I called my OBs office.  I told them that I was struggling to find the heartbeat with a doppler and wanted to be seen.  I left out the part that we had already used an ultrasound, because Chris wasn't necessarily supposed to take it home.  My OB wasn't available but they said a nurse could see me at 9:30.  I could tell they weren't putting much merit into my concerns, I'm sure just assuming I was an overly anxious pregnant woman.  I dropped Elsie off at school, then headed to the doctor with Thea in tow.  It was a snowy morning, and as I turned a corner my car slid out and hit the curb.  It was just a little bump, but I lost it.  I was bawling.  I hated everything about that moment.  Somehow we made it to the office in one piece.

Tears streamed down my face while sitting in the waiting room.  I tried to hide it, but I'm sure everyone could see it.  I didn't have to sit long though before we were called back.  The nurse had me lie down on the exam table and she put the doppler on my stomach.  After a few seconds you could hear a heartbeat.  She said "there it is."  Nope, not so much.  "I think that is my heartbeat."  "Really?  It is beating a little fast, are you sure that's you?"  Of course my heart is beating fast, I'm here so you all can officially tell me my baby is dead.  "I'm pretty sure."  She grabbed another nurse, she agreed that yes, it was my own heartbeat, and after having no luck finding the baby they went and got my OB (who I had never met).  When she walked in she said "So I hear this little baby is being stubborn and hiding!"  "I don't really think that is the case."  She seemed a little taken back, by my lack of hope.  She asked why I was so sure something was wrong and I told her that I was generally pretty efficient with the doppler.  She spent a little time searching for the heartbeat, obviously with no luck.

I felt bad, letting them all search for the heartbeat knowing full well they weren't going to find it.  But at the same time, maybe I was holding on to a tiny bit of hope that Chris and I were wrong.  My doctor stepped out to find out if they could get me in for an ultrasound.  About five minutes later they were able to squeeze me in.  I had Thea sitting on the exam table with me.  It didn't take the tech long, she said "I'm so sorry, I'm not finding a heartbeat."  "I know."  I tried not to cry, I tried to hold it together, but that couldn't stop a few tears from burning down my cheeks.  I hugged Thea so hard.  My doctor came back in and told me she was sorry.  We discussed my options.  She told me the chance that my body would completely miscarry on it's own was only about 40%.  I decided to talk it all over with Chris.  When I made it to my car I didn't hold it in anymore.  I cried hard.  I desperately wished there was something I could do to change things.

Eventually I pulled it together and made the drive home.  But it felt like the hardest part was yet to come.  How did I tell my family?  My parents were in Georgia.  But I knew I couldn't wait until they got home.  I couldn't do it face to face.  I decided I couldn't even say it out loud yet.  My poor mom, I ended up texting her the news.  Of course she wanted to call me.  We chatted a bit, but ultimately I didn't want to talk to anyone too much.  I was so confused, so lost, so heart broken.  I felt so helpless.  I spent the rest of Thursday in a fog, but again, Chris works half days on Thursdays so he was able to come home and be with me and the girls.  We talked and decided a D&C was the best route to go.  I wasn't sure how I'd handle a natural miscarriage, and taking care of three kids while going through a natural miscarriage sounded like it's own version of hell.  Not to mention the fact that my doctor said there was basically a 60% chance I'd wind up needing a D&C anyway.

I called the office and after a little shuffling they were able to get me in first thing in the morning with my OB for the procedure.  I was grateful for that.  I wanted to start the healing process as soon as possible.  Chris's mom stayed at the house Thursday night so we could easily leave bright and early for my 6am check-in time.  Per the instructions from pre-op, I wasn't to take any medications Thursday evening on.  Naturally I threw up before going to bed.  That was a stab in the heart.  My body, just carrying on like nothing was wrong.

my only 'bump pic', 12 weeks, the morning of my D&C

My alarm went off a little before 5am Friday morning.  My eyes could barely open, they were so puffy from crying so much.  I showered and got ready to go.  I hoped the girls wouldn't be too concerned that Chris and I weren't there in the morning.  We hadn't told them anything yet.  (spoiler alert, they were unphased, Grandma 'Nita, woot!)  I tried so hard not to cry the whole drive to the hospital.  It sucked so much.  I knew crying couldn't change a thing, I didn't want to, but man it was hard.  And I felt like such crap.  Between all the crying, not taking any meds, the stress of it all, my head was pounding, I was having hot flashes and I just wanted to puke.  I ended up having to sit down while we were waiting in line to check-in, because I was feeling so sick.  Eventually we got all squared away and Chris came back to my pre-op room with me.

The nurse asked me what procedure I was there for and I had to swallow hard before saying it.  Then she handed me a gown and asked me to change in the bathroom.  I didn't expect that to be so emotional, but standing in the bathroom, putting on that hospital gown.  Ugh.  I've only put on a hospital gown three times.  And each time I came home with a baby.  This time there would be no baby... It was just under two hours from the time we checked in until when I was taken back.  While we were waiting Chris and I tried to chat about anything but the current situation.  But it was hard.  At one point we got on the subject of Jurassic Park.  Why, I can't remember, but we'll come back to that.

Overall I did a pretty good job holding it together while waiting for my procedure, but when the nurse came in to wheel me to the operating room I couldn't handle it anymore.  Chris and I hugged.  I didn't want to let go.  I didn't want this to be real.  Tears poured down my face the whole way.  I swear we had to go to the furthest possible room.  At some point I just closed my eyes, and barely opened them again until after the procedure.  I didn't want to look at anyone.  I did mentally note that operating rooms are absurdly bright.  I helped move myself onto the table, but I didn't have to put my legs in the stirrups or anything.  Then my doctor came in.  She and the nurse just held my hands and let me cry until I was asleep.  It couldn't have been more than a few minutes from the time they wheeled me in until I was out.

As I started to come out of the anesthesia I was immediately crying again, but thought I was being chased by dinosaurs.  No joke.  I was in the middle of Jurassic Park running from a TRex.  Of all things to be thinking when you wake up.  HA.  I came to pretty quickly though.  They wheeled me into recovery and asked if I needed any pain meds.  I wasn't in any pain.  Actually what I immediately noticed was that I didn't feel sick in the least and my headache was gone.  I know they put some zofran in my IV, but truly I felt surprisingly good.  A silver lining, I guess.  After a bit my doctor came in to talk to me.  Apparently I lost a fair amount of blood during the procedure so they wanted to push a few bags of fluid before I could go home.  Lame.  I felt like I was in recovery forever.  All I wanted was to be back with Chris.  But they were waiting to take me to my room until I got rhogam.  Dang RH- status.  The guy in the bed next to me was in a lot of pain, and I guess on a lot of morphine.  They kept yelling at him, "Grant! Grant. You have to remember to breathe.  Wake up Grant!"  Funny and not funny.  Whatever.

After about an hour I was moved from recovery back to the room I started in.  Still just struggling on and off to keep it together.  Once all the fluids were pushed and they were pretty confident I wasn't going to pass out, I was able to get dressed to head home.  As I was tying my shoes, a lullaby jingle played over the speakers.  I froze.  "What was that?"  Chris paused a moment, "a baby was born."  Cue more tears.  There was no lullaby for my baby.  My baby didn't get to come home with me.  I didn't even get to see my baby.  I wanted out of there.  After a bit we were officially discharged, the nurse walked me to the front and we were on our way.

I had a prescription for a medication to help my uterus contract that I was supposed to take at 2pm, I think it was 11:30am at this point?  We stopped at Hyvee to pick it up where it had been called in, and they said they actually didn't have that medication in stock, but I could get some on Monday.  Well that wasn't going to work.  We moved on down the street to Walgreens.  They didn't have it either.  I called my OB's office and asked what to do.  They said they'd start calling pharmacies.  We went home to check on Elsie and Thea, made them some lunch, and Chris called a couple of pharmacies himself... Dillons, Walmart, the hospital pharmacy.  No one had the damn medicine in stock.  Around 12:15 the OB's office called and said they had found the medicine at the Walgreens by the hospital.  Alright fine, we'll go there.  I put Thea down for a nap and got back in the car with Christopher.  When we arrived at Walgreens, they said actually, they didn't have the generic that had been prescribed, and my insurance wouldn't cover the brand name.  The 8 pill prescription was going to be $550.  !#@^%^!#@$ You have got to be kidding me.

Of course I lost it again.  I already hated everything going on, who knows how much the D&C was going to cost us, and now we were supposed to spend another $550, when the generic would have been $15?  Chris just wanted to pay for it and call it good, but I couldn't handle that.  I called the doctor's office yet again.  She said if I took it easy and watched my bleeding I could probably get by without the medication, but we decided to call a few CVS pharmacies.  Thankfully one of them did actually have the generic, so we headed in the that direction.  I think it was after 1:00pm by this point.  I was so drained.  As we were waiting in line at CVS, Christopher realized one of his patients was talking with the pharmacist.  Initially he turned his back so the woman wouldn't see him, but we could overhear the conversation.  She was explaining that whatever she picked up wasn't what she needed, but the pharmacist responded with "unfortunately that is what your doctor prescribed and I can't give you something different."  I told Chris he better get his butt over there and fix the situation.  :o)  When he walked up to the window the little old lady was initially confused, but once she realized who it was she was exclaiming that he was her guardian angel and was just so happy.  It was adorable.

While Chris was dealing with all of that, it was my turn at the window.  I handed the woman my prescription, and she started to go through her little series of questions.  While looking at the paper she asked, "Are you pregnant?" I choked on my words, completely blindsided by the inquiry.  "Uh, um, no.  No."  And then again, I lost it.  She began to apologize, she said she wasn't even thinking when she asked.  I understood.  But hell, that was the first time someone had straight asked me 'are you pregnant' and I had to respond with no.  It hurt so damn bad.  So I hid in the aisles of CVS and cried while waiting for my prescription to be ready.  I was so freaking over it all.

We got the prescription, made our way home, and I took the stupid pill on time.  I spent a little time hanging out in the basement by myself resting, but being alone wasn't really working for me.  It wasn't too much longer and Ryann was home from school.  She questioned Christopher, "Why are you home? You're usually only home on Thursdays, but I had gymnastics last night so today is Friday and why are you here early?"  He told her he'd explain later, and that was good enough for her.  We wanted to wait a little closer to bedtime before breaking the news to the girls, hoping they could just sleep off a lot of their feelings.  We hung out on the couch watching shows for a bit, and had some dinner.  Then we decided it was time to tell them.

It was tough.  I didn't want to just say she was dead.  That didn't feel right.  So we told them that baby sister's heart had stopped working, and that she couldn't come home to live with us because her heart didn't work.  I think Ryann asked why the doctors couldn't just fix her heart, and we told her it just wasn't an option.  We said that we had gone to the hospital that morning and that a doctor helped take the baby out of my belly.  But that I didn't have any cuts or anything.  Ryann cried.  Elsie cried because Ryann was crying.  Thea had no clue of course.  Overall they took it better than I expected, but it still broke my heart even more.  We gave the girls a bath, and then we all snuggled in the basement and watched a movie before putting them to bed.

Rocking Thea before putting her in the crib was so damn hard.  I cried, and she was so confused.  I just kept thinking what if she really was the last baby I would ever rock?  Babies are so incredibly exhausting, but man I love them.  Once I got her in bed Chris and I settled in the basement with Pitch Perfect 2 to try and keep the mood light.  I also drowned my sorrows in a bowl of ice cream and chocolate muffins.  The movie was hilarious and definitely put a smile on my face, but once it was over all the sadness was back.  I ended up taking some tylenol pm so I could get some sleep.  And kept taking it for like a week or more, before I thought I could handle going to bed and staying asleep on my own.

On Saturday our amazing neighbors kept Ryann and Elsie at their house for pretty much the entire day.  Fed them lunch and dinner.  Ryann ended up spending the night even.  I couldn't be more grateful for them.  It was nice to just be.  To not have to take care of anyone but Thea (who napped for a good portion of the day anyway).  Megan even brought me flowers as well as some Ben & Jerry's.  Honestly I am so grateful that I decided to be open with the miscarriage.  Having to tell people sucked/sucks, but having people to walk me through a difficult time was so incredibly helpful.  Other friends sent cards, a giftcard for coffee, and just all the kind words.  They were so very much appreciated.  I felt so lost, but having other people acknowledge the loss made me feel like I wasn't a crazy person.

I spent the next several days in and out of tears.  I just couldn't help it, I'd break down out of nowhere.  Especially taking care of Thea.  She brings me so much joy, I'm so thankful for all my girls, but the harsh reality that she may very well be our last baby was gut wrenching.  I cried every time I rocked her for nearly a week.

That first week was also hard emotionally, because I just had no idea where to go from there.  Do we try again and risk another loss?  Do we embrace our three miracles that we do have and move on?  I wanted someone to be able to tell me what I was supposed to do.  I wanted all the answers right then and there.  I wanted to know what happened.  Why couldn't that little girl have been the final piece to our family puzzle?  What went wrong?  WHY?  It was so hard.  So so hard.  And on the flip side, I had so much guilt about being upset.  I am so blessed to have a loving husband, supporting parents, three amazing children.  We have a wonderful life.  One loss doesn't even compare to some of the hardships people out there are facing.  Why couldn't I just get over it?  Just move on?

And with that, I think there will need to be a part three to these posts.  I didn't intend to have so much to share, but honestly after the loss I searched for other people's stories to read.  Something to help me sort through some of my feelings.  So I will continue to share, hoping that someone, somewhere, finds some comfort in knowing they aren't alone.

May 17, 2017

four weeks | baby five

written May 17th
how far along:  4 weeks + 3 days (compare to 4 weeks with Elsie, 4 weeks with Thea)

size of baby:  Trying out the Ovia Pregnancy app this time around.  Still goes with the pretty standard poppy seed comparison for four weeks.

weight gain:  0 pounds.  This week will be my starting point.  6 pounds heavier than I started with Thea, but with all the emotional eating I did over the last few months really it could have been a lot more.

maternity clothes:  nope

symptoms:  I've been shaky on and off for the last week, and I was a bit nauseous yesterday, but honestly I could probably attribute a lot of that to anxiety.

exercise:  Unfortunate timing, but my knee really started bothering me about four days before I got the positive pregnancy test.  So I toned everything way down.  At minimum I'm getting in a 30 minute walk daily.  Trying to do some upper body exercises at least 3 times a week.  Hoping in another week I can get back to running.  In February I had started doing Beach Body videos and was really enjoying them.  Mostly 21 Day Fix and Core de Force.

cravings/aversions:  Mexcian food, though I don't think that is really related to pregnancy.  That's just me.  My need for sweets seems to be slowing down a bit.

movement:  nope.

sleep:  I've had a few days where I've woken up at 3:30 or 4am and couldn't go back to sleep, but overall not too bad.  Over the weekend I definitely needed some cat naps. 

gender:  I don't have a clue.

looking forward to:  an ultrasound.  And being out of the first trimester.

worries:  Honestly I'm just waiting to miscarry.  But still trying to stay positive.  Trying to embrace this pregnancy while it lasts.  Praying I'll make it to term and get to bring home one more baby.  One last piece to our family puzzle.

what's different this time:  The beginning of my pregnancy with Thea was a little rough following a chemical pregnancy.  But it doesn't even compare to being pregnant after a later loss.  I had more time to heal emotionally this time around, I thought I'd have some excitement when I saw a positive test.  But I just felt like the air was sucked out of me.

milestones:  I'm pregnant!

best moment this week:  Christopher being happy.  I'm struggling so much to really be excited because I am scared, but hearing him say that he is happy makes me happy.

May 15, 2017

losing teeth

I swear when Ryann gets a loose tooth, it is loose FOREVER.  She had lost her bottom two baby teeth in the fall, but then nothing.  And this top tooth took it's sweet time coming out.  Ryann definitely isn't shy about wiggling them or pulling on them, she'll let Chris and I try, but it just didn't want to budge.  Finally on May 3rd she got it to come out!


I just can't get over how much older she looks with that tooth missing.  It still catches me off guard a little bit when she smiles at me.  But I love it.  :o)

May 10, 2017

elsie says

Elsie:  "Oh man, there is a stain on my pillow case!"
Me:  "It's ok, I can throw it in the wash, it'll be fine."
Elsie:  "Mom!  You know what you need?!?!"
Me:  "No, what?"
Elsie:  "Oxi Clean!  It can get ALL the stains out."
clearly my child has seen too many commercials

I know I had another one I wanted to share, but I can't remember what it was.  So I'll throw in this little Elsie story for good measure.

The other day I had taken off my wedding rings and put them on the counter.  While I was cleaning up from lunch I saw Elsie pick them up and put them on.  "Elsie, please don't play with Mommy's rings, put them back for me ok?"  "Ok Mama."  But, I didn't watch to make sure she did.  A little while later I went to put them back on, but they weren't there.  I asked Elsie and she said very confidently, "I was wearing them upstairs.  I put them on the toy shelf in the playroom by the little bucket."  So I went up there, and nope.  No rings.  Elsie swore up and down that is where she put them.  We picked up all the toys, looked under the toy shelf and quickly checked her room, but no rings.  I had to take the girls to dance so I just left it at that.

When we were back from dance we started searching the house.  Chris and the girls went back over the playroom again.  He dumped out every toy bin in there.  I looked all over downstairs, in cabinets and drawers, everyone's backpacks, in my purse, in the pantry, all over the study, everywhere that I could think of, but no rings.  When it was time for bed we gave up for the night.  The next morning my mom joined me and we went through the playroom yet again.  I moved every piece of furniture, every bin of toys, checked the pockets of the pretend aprons, looked through some of the bins in the closet, everything.  My mom moved on to Elsie's room, emptying most of her bins (anything that was within reasonable reach), took the sheets and stuffed animals off her bed, moved all her doll furniture, everything.  Still no rings to be found.  I debated moving to Ryann's room, but figured Thea's was smaller and easier to look through in the time I had left.  I looked in the bins on the floor of her closet, under her crib, behind the rocker, through her drawers.  Nadda.

Just before I decided I was done in Thea's room, I decided to pull out the glider for good measure.  And there they were, underneath the back portion of the glider.  Oh Elsie.  She runs up there to hide sometimes if she beats me upstairs.  When I picked her up from school I told her to guess where I found them.  She had no clue.  I told her under the glider in Thea's room.  Her response?  "I wonder why Thea would put your rings under there!"  Really Elsie?  Really.  She still claims she had nothing to do with it.  Silly girl.


May 7, 2017

thea - twenty one months

In three short months this girl will be two.  I really can't believe it.  The still somewhat minimal amounts of hair really keep her looking like a baby.  But that hair is definitely growing, doesn't look like she is too far behind where Ryann was...

bow from here | bracelets from here

Thea is definitely growing, and I think she is decently tall, but I could be making that up.  I just noticed that she could really reach the railings without any trouble while we were walking down the stairs.  Which is good since she has ZERO interest in letting me help her.  I get a lot of "Put me down!" and "No help mama!"  Such a sweetheart! Ha.  Really she is a huge sweetheart.  We went to a (pointless) follow up from the surgery on her head on April 14th, and she weighed in at 27 pounds.  I've still got her in mostly 18-24 month clothes because I haven't wanted to deal with switching them out.  But the pants are getting a little short and her belly hangs out of some of her shirts.  So 2T probably isn't a bad idea.  Size 5 diapers and size 6 shoes.  All her teeth are in except the two year molars, and despite the fact that she screamed through her entire dentist appointment, they said all the teeth were looking great.


This girl is a climbing machine.  I was pretty sure a year ago that she was going to be my climber, and I was 100% right.  If left alone she can figure out how to climb ANYTHING.  The only things she hasn't done that I am expecting her to, is to climb on the kitchen counters, and climb out of her crib.  Really I am absolutely surprised that neither has happened.  Scratch that, she climbed on the counter the day after I typed that out!  The other day I forgot the ladder to the bunk beds was down (we usually keep it on the top bunk BECAUSE THEA), I ran to my room to grab something.  As I came back past Elsie's room, there is Thea, sitting on the top bunk, goofy little wave "Oh hi Mommy! I climb Ryann bed!"  Heart attack.  Sheesh.  I really don't know how she hasn't fallen off of something high or gotten seriously injured.  Knocking on all the wood over here.  It's bound to happen though.

To go along with her climbing skills, Thea is excellent at jumping.  Gross motor skills are definitely her thing.  She can get a decent amount of air when jumping on the ground, is great in the bounce house, and is certainly not afraid to jump off of things as well.


Thea still remains our absolute pickiest eater.  It is going to drive me mad.  The only things she consistently eats are peanut butter & jelly and mac 'n cheese, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, cheese, crackers, and sweets.  And waffles, pancakes, muffins and cereal.  Can't forget those.  And cheese quesadillas.  When I start typing it out, it seems like more than I expected, HOWEVER, no vegetables at all will go down.  She doesn't like pineapple and protein is pretty much a no go too.  She'll occasionally eat chicken nuggets.  And she is obsessed with squeeze pouches still.  Donuts might be her absolute favorite food.  Pretty sure.


She is starting to pick up more and more phrases.  I mean, I still can't understand her probably a third of the time, but she talks A LOT.  Current favorite phrases are "Mama what is dat?", "Mama where going?", "Thea do it!", "Get off me!", and "STOP IT."  The last two most often said when I'm trying to help her down the stairs, or really help her do anything.  She wants to do everything herself.  The best though, are her "Ohhhhh tank you!"  She is great at using her manners, please and thank you, and naturally that wins the heart of everyone out in public. 

Thea has also gotten pretty good at tattling on her sisters.  "El-ee hit me!  Hit Thea arm!"  Of course that is driving Elsie nuts because now she can't just play dumb and act like she didn't do anything.  Not that Thea is one to get pushed around.  No way.  She mimics Ryann and Elsie all the time, often following their every move.  But if they try to get her to do something she isn't interested in, she tells them off or ignores them.  And when given the choice between fight or flight, that girl is going to fight.  When I start coming towards her like I'm going to tickle her, she just charges me instead of running away.  It is so funny.


Her color recognition has gotten quite a bit better, yellow and purple are the ones she identifies correctly almost every time.  She seems to really like the color yellow, and if given a choice of items will pick out a yellow one if there is one.  She is also obsessed with some yellow rainboots, but all the girls have loved those.  Blue and green get confused and red and orange, can't say I blame her.  She can also apparently count to eleven, but she doesn't do it on her own.  If I ask her to count something she just repeats  '1 2 3 1 2 3' over and over again.  But if I get her past 4 or 5 she will say the next numbers up to 11.  She tries to sing the ABCs, but really gets maybe a few letters correct here and there, just sort of hums the tune instead.


Thea's personality tends to range from the absolute most adorable sweetest baby in the world, to something akin to a feral cat.  Pretty predictable.  Not.  She gets nuts when you try to tell her she can't do something she wants to do, like climbing on things or playing on stuff outside.  Also if you take away an electronic or turn off a TV.  But really, for the most part, she is just so freaking sweet and cute and I can't get enough of her.  I absolutely love watching her play.  She gives me all sorts of hugs and kisses and sings to her baby dolls and has to hug the baby dolls in Target and hugs all the pictures of babies she sees.  She got to hold my friend's baby when they came over and now she'd prefer to hold all the babies.  She is just so much fun.


Thea girl, I love your crazy little self so much.  Can't believe you're so close to two!        

May 1, 2017

Easter 2017

Trying, TRYING, to get back in the groove with posting about holidays and random life events and such.  The masses may not care about seeing a photo of my family in our Easter attire, but I hope that one day my kids will.  Doing it for the kids.

So Easter this year!  Honestly I feel like we're still trying to figure out this whole holiday thing now that we're living in the same city as my parents.  When we were living in KC, we'd come back home for Easter and stay the weekend.  We'd dye eggs and do an egg hunt.  The kids would have their Easter baskets.  There was Easter themed breakfasts and lunches.  All together just hanging out.  Now that we are in the same area, we don't have to spend the entire holiday weekend together.  So do we?  Do we not?  How does this work?  Oh the first world problems in my life.

Our friends hosted an Easter themed party at the beginning of the month.  The following weekend we went to the Easter egg hunt at Elsie's preschool.  On Easter weekend Grandma 'Nita brought over some Easter treats Saturday morning and we hosted a family at our house for dinner and egg dying. On Easter morning there were Easter baskets and I attempted to make bunny cinnamon rolls (didn't work), we made it to church (a touch late, because I thought the service started at 9:30, it was 9:15, whoops!), and followed that up with brunch at the country club.  Also that evening our col de sac threw together a glow in the dark Easter egg hunt.  It was a pretty big pinterest fail.  Rain was looming so we couldn't really wait until it was dark, kids were getting tired, and the glow sticks in the eggs honestly didn't glow all that much anyway.  But we had a good time and the 14 kiddos found all the eggs in approximately three minutes flat.  Whatever works!

The one thing we did not do this year, was go have our picture taken with the Easter bunny.  I just couldn't work up the motivation to drag my kids to the mall so that Thea could scream, Elsie would be uneasy, and we'd spend too much money on a crappy photo.  I feel a little bad, simply because it is just something you do with kids, right?  But none of them even asked so I think we'll live.