Belly Project: 26 Weeks...

Sunday, March 29, 2015
 These 2 pictures make me laugh...the one above is taken in the morning and the one below is taken the night below.  I know my belly expands as the night goes on but still...
Baby Size:  on average 1 2/3 lbs and 14 inches

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 12 lbs  (but I am sure it is more, I have my 27 week check-up and glucose test on Thursday)
Maternity Clothes: I am down to certain t-shirts that fit comfortably over my belly and the rest are maternity clothes. 
Gender: more people are guessing girl these days...we still don't have a girl name :(
Movement: Vera was napping on me the other day and baby was not happy about that, I tried to rest too but the crazy movement in my belly prevented that.  Solon felt baby and he said it was the hardest he felt he/she kick to date.  You can see baby move when kicking on the outside now and baby is ALL OVER the place!  Sometimes its way down low kicking and then a few minutes later, I get a nice kick to the right rib...Solon woke up last night and I felt baby moving around.  They are pretty active anytime I drink anything cold or when I am sitting down.  They really protest if I hunch over...
Fetal Heartbeat:  The last ultrasound at 24 weeks, baby's heartbeat was lower 130 and they were resting and then bumped up to 145.  That is the lowest it has ever been but still normal.
Sleep: nuts!  Sleep what?!?  I toss and turn a lot and at least every other night am up between the hours of 3 and 4.  I don't have to go potty (I carry really high) but I just lay there awake for no reason at all.  I tire easily and lay down most days for a bit in the afternoon!

Cravings: this week it was chocolate store-bought cake with that really good sugary frosting :).   I have been loving egg mcmuffin type breakfast sandwiches for breakfast and really anything for lunch and dinner.  I still don't love snack things, normally do a cheese stick, granola bar or fruit if I am hungry in between.  I notice my belly (given I am carrying so high) just can't hold as much food these days.  I get full really fast.
Symptoms: I still have nausea in the morning or if I get overly hungry (sometimes that can't be helped with 2 small children).  Baby is taking up a lot of square footage up high (all my babies have) so I get out of breath more easily as my diaphragm just can't expand as much as it used to.  My tummy fills faster but I don't have to pee ALL the time so I guess there are blessings to carrying high ;).  My lower back and hips get pretty stiff by days end and I feel like I waddle like an old woman when sitting or laying for a while until my muscles loosen up.
Exercise: have been trying to achieve my March goal to get to the gym 3 days a week and have been pretty successful.  Last week I did bike, walking and weights one day, yoga another and water aerobics for my 3rd workout of the week.  This week I did the same first two things and switched up my last workout to zumba.  This combination will serve me well I think until the end ;).  
What do the kids think: This week we dug out the box of tiny girl clothes and Vera was in heaven hijacking them all to dress her baby doll.  I had piles of things to wash, things to store for in case we have a girl and need bigger sizes and then toss/donate.  Its amazing the stains that appear after 4 years for the girl clothes and I am sure will be there on the boy clothes (Vera wasn't as interested in helping with those, so we have yet to do them ;).  They love to talk about the baby.  This week we were trying to come up with names and Vera said we should name the baby "Margaret".  Scott was flabbergasted at such an interesting choice from V but I quickly reminded him that's Daniel Tiger's baby sister's name.  :)  
On My Heart: We are trucking along.  There are moments I am so anxious to have my body back and hold this baby and then moments where I know this is my last so I try to savor.  I forgot what the last trimester is like and I am quickly approaching it.  You are tired but have things you want/know you should do!  Scott has been a trooper with my growing nesting list and I am trying to tie up all the projects that are half done.  It's like when I leave for vacation, I like the house to be "just so".  I feel the same way when a new baby is coming, I want things to be finished and done so I don't have to worry about it with a newborn to take care of!  I know the basement won't be done but I am hoping the messiest part will be done before baby comes!  Scott is working REALLY REALLY hard to try his best.  He amazes me with what he knows, researches and does in relation to it all.  He is a smarty pants!  It has been really hard this time (probably every time) to not know what we are having and not even knowing a girl name.  There are things I would like to have ready just in case...continue baking little one but we sure are excited to see who God made you to be and how you will fit so perfectly into our family.  It will be crazy when you arrive to think you were never not here.

Florida Trip 2015...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
We had a great time visiting Scott's parents at their new winter home in Bradenton/Sarasota in February.  They wintered down there last year and decided to buy and of course we were excited to visit and leave the cold weather behind.  We also discovered Allegiant Airlines flies direct to St. Pete which is about 45 minutes from their house and you can get tickets for as little as $100/person....makes it possible to go!  We had going to the beach, playing in the pool and exploring on the agenda and I think we all left wanting more beach so I guess we will have to go back :).

The first day we were there was very rainy but we went to a yummy local dive for lunch, drove around the area and made plans for the week!  We wanted to make sure to squeeze in mini golf, a little outlet mall shopping, swimming, and beach time with lots of seafood to eat sprinkled in :).
We all enjoyed a round of mini golfs and there were live alligators on display, luckily none of them got our ball.  Vera joined in around the 15 hole!
Nana and Papa also treated us to the Sarasota Circus.  Sarasota was the winter home Barnum & Bailey so circus is a big deal there.  Once a year they have a great big top circus that pops up in town and we happened to be there while it was going on.  The famous Wallenda tight wire act performed (you may have heard of Nik Wallenda who walked across Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon and more recently in Chicago between 2 sky scrapers).  All of the acts were great.  The kids particularly enjoyed the circus clown that came out in between acts and I loved the aerialists and of course the tightrope!
The Wallenda's performing that on a tight wire...you couldn't breathe watching them!
We also hit up "The Big Red Barn" think farmers market/junk store/souveniers/flea market and everything else you might not know you need but they have it.  We got the world's largest carrot (as evidenced in the picture above) and we also picked out some tropical fruits we can't get here like mango, star fruit, etc.  It was fun to try and the giant carrot was just good as the smaller versions ;).  The fruit was all so good and fresh...
Of course I think the highlight for all of us was the beach.  They live within driving distance to both Siesta Key and Anna Maria Island and both were great.  The birds were a little less CRAZY at Anna Maria Island and there were some amazing shells there too so that edged out the competition but I am mean you are comparing diamonds to diamonds really :).  You can't beat the gulf water color, smaller waves and shallow beaches.  It is ideal for small children.  Vera wasn't pummeled over by the waves and Solon and Scott could venture way out.  We even had dolphins swimming just 20 feet off of shore.  The first time I yelled, Solon thought he was in trouble.  It was such a cool thing to see!
We spent lots  of time soaking up the vitamin D and getting burnt (you could tell our skin was not used to being exposed).  The kids had fun building castles with Papa and Vera even enjoyed becoming a sand mermaid courtesy of Nana.




I even stole Scott away for a long walk up the beach.  I was still feeling pretty crappy at night so this was the "best date" I could give him.  We enjoyed our kid free time holding hands with toes in the sand.



Scott and Solon played their fair share of beach football as well.  They worked up a sweat and then would cool off in the ocean!  Solon was in heaven having daddy with him all day everyday (we all were).
The water was chilly and the air temp wasn't so hot that it felt refreshing BUT once you got in, you did get use to it.  And look at the clear clear water...
One of my must haves for Marty was really good seafood.  I love it and there is nothing better than fresh caught.  Well we went to this dive place...those generally have really good food, otherwise the dive atmosphere would surely not survive!  Anyway, there were all these pelicans there and they were so close but never bothered you!  It was fun to watch them while we waited.  We also tried to eat outside as much as possible, I think food tastes better outside especially in February!  I even made everyone try Conch fritters, a specialty of the gulf coast (let's just once was enough!).

Unfortunately the week got cooler on our last day but we made the most of it with a trip to the circus museum and winter home of the Barnums.  The kids did really well with all the museum things and there was a lovely park where we picnicked and they played in the sun out of the wind.
And of course they enjoyed the warm pool at Nana and Papa's community.  Even on chilly days the warm pool meant they could swim and then we would just wrap them up and quickly take them home to a warm bath.  Solon can swim independently now and Vera is quite comfortable in the water (both are now in swimming again in hopes that Vera will be independent before summer).

We enjoyed the vibrant warm sun, lots of yummy seafood, exploring and of course everyone's favorite was the BEACH.  We hope to go back more now that Papa and Nana winter there...you can't beat the "rental cost" for the week - a few hugs and kisses!!!




February in Pictures...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Let's see now that it is the end of March, I figured I better get this little ol' blog up to date.  It nags at me every single day because our kiddos love to look at the books I make out of it but the weeks are slipping by, my energy comes and goes and some days just call for a nap or there are more pressing items for my nesting to do list ;).  So here is a recap of our February.

Solon got to celebrate his half birthday at preschool and since it is at a church, we can still bring homemade items.  Solon was insistent on cupcakes for a long while "because mom EVERYONE brings cupcakes for their birthday."  Not that I didn't want to be like everyone else but I thought it might be fun to do something different.  He loves when Nana makes dirt when we visit so once I mentioned, he was all for it.  32 cups of dirt coming right up.  Thank goodness for instant pudding and my ninja blender to blend up all those oreos!  We even had some extra cups we delivered to our neighbors across the street!  How is he 5 1/2?  He is getting so big and so smart.

At the last minute, Emilie mentioned their church was having a father-daughter dance and would Vera and Scott like to go.  I hadn't signed them up for the city one because the fee was $35 and I wasn't sure if Vera was still too young to enjoy it.  The church one was only $5 ;).   Of course they had fun with Justin and Maleah and there was plenty of things to do besides dancing, which was good because Scott said Vera mostly stood and watched everyone else dance.  She had fun at the photo booth when Scott was taking pictures but clammed right up when a professional tried to take her photo ;).
Vera and Maleah (only 1 month apart)


We had one REALLY big snowstorm that dumped about 16 inches of perfect snowman making snow in February.  The weather was mild too so we all got dressed in warm gear and made a whole snow family.  I ran out of steam before the baby snowman was made so we just said mommy snowman had a baby inside that snow belly of hers ;).   The kids also loved going down the slide into the snow and having a snowball fight with daddy.

My parents came for a weekend to go with us to see Audra McDonald (from Broadway) and out to eat for their Christmas present.  We also enjoyed the gift they brought for baby.  They like to get a little something for us for each child, it is a sweet blessing and we are so thankful.  This time it was the mamaroo which I am sure will prove quite helpful when my 2 hands need to be in multiple places.  It is very light to move around and has lots of features the kids have already tested out on Vera's dolls.
Of course in February, mommy was still needing naps regularly (who am I kidding, I need them regularly still ;) and little buddy was tuckered out after our trip to Florida and Grandma/Grandpa visit so we napped together.  This happens so rarely anymore that he naps, let alone next to me, that I just stared at him for the longest time wondering how he got so big.  These moments are further apart but I seem to cherish them more and more.
...and my little mail guy.  He had been learning about doing kind things for others at preschool and we had been looking out for things he and Vera do to help.  He was quick to offer to get the mail one cold day and I tell you, with pregnancy hormones, I think I teared up.  Just the other night, we were sharing fries from McDonald's (why do I crave crappy food?) and I said I am hungry and so he said 
"ok you have the rest, baby needs them more than me!"  I about died because normally having a baby in my belly never deters them from stealing my food :).  

We also went to Florida in February for a whole glorious week.  There is just something so special about getting away from home and the obligations and enjoying life together.  I feel like I enjoy my kids more and embrace the moment so much better!  More to come on that week soon. 




Belly Project: 24 Weeks...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Baby Size:  cantaloupe and 12.7-20.8 oz

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 12 lbs (I had a bit of a "growth spurt" ;)  I am the biggest to date with all 3 both in weight and belly but my hubby thinks I am beautiful and I am growing a baby so I am just going to focus on that....and the fact that I know nursing will take it off ;).
Maternity Clothes: yep and I just splurged on 2 new spring tops at Old Navy at $8/piece...
Gender: SO I decided I no longer like our girl name and am FREAKING OUT...because I pretty much threw the first and middle name to the trash and we are starting from scratch....we are set on our boy name.  I remember freaking out about both Solon and Vera's name along with a few other things I am guessing girl!
Movement: Oh my goodness, this little one found my right rib last night.  Some of you may remember Solon bruised my ribs when I was pregnant with him and I will say the pain was worse than childbirth (especially since they can't give you anything strong).  So this little one better keep their tootsies away from that area...One night it was crazy, there were kicks on opposite sides of my tummy.  Solon said they must be doing the splits.  I think they also have had the hiccups a couple of times, because there have been some rhythmic "kicks" and both the other 2 had hiccups a lot in utero.
Fetal Heartbeat:  158 (at OB office, same as Ultrasound) but funny story, baby kept kicking the doppler...every time the nurse would place it, baby would kick it which caused loud static.  The kids thought it was hilarious.  
Sleep: getting worse week by week...naps are great but then I don't always sleep well at night...luckily my taste for a hot cup of joe has helped with that and drinking Young Living's NinXia Red has given me some energy!

Cravings: back to just eating to eat, nothing really in particular.  I crave dairy but it DOES NOT agree with my tummy this pregnancy.  A nice grilled piece of meat has been delicious lately, whether its a hot dog, hamburger or steak!
Symptoms: I still need to take my nausea meds about 3 times a week and if I get over tired I notice my symptoms are worse so travel really wears this mama out.  It took me 2 days to recover from Colorado (its okay, it was worth it).  I have had my first braxton hicks contraction where my tummy gets really hard (totally normal and surprised it wasn't sooner).  My hips are sore and I get that sciatica nerve pain depending on where baby is occasionally.  Luckily my random pregnancy induced sneezing has stopped...such a weird symptom!
Exercise: I called hauling kids to and from ski school in very thin air my workout...I was constantly out of breath.  ;)  I tried water aerobics and it was a great workout so once spring break festivities conclude I will do that as well as yoga for sure!
What do the kids think: I was a little stressed that our older two kids being nearly 4 and 6 when baby arrives would be a barrier to the relationship BUT they are just so stinkin excited, its darling.  We got a carseat canopy and nursing cover in the mail (the first things I have ordered for baby #3) and they had to test them both out.  They were so excited to help assemble the crib and Vera helped me pick out a going home outfit at Old Navy for both a boy and girl!  She was sad we didn't get matching shoes ;).  Solon felt the baby for the first time this week and his face nearly brought tears to my eyes, he was thrilled.  They pray for the baby every night and want to kiss/hug him/her good night.  They always come over to pat my tummy or ask how baby is.  They like to read the weekly update to see how big they are now.  They couldn't believe Vera's bitty baby was just about the size of the baby we will bring home (to be honest, I can't believe it either).  It has been such a fun family experience, through the trials God knew what He was doing and I am so thankful :).

On My Heart: I have moments of "oh my goodness, we are having a baby!" and then moments of "Our life is about to do a complete turn."  I mean we have a few ceremonial sippy cups and one pack of wipes incase of a dirty face but no diapers, naps are optional, etc.  We are excited but I feel so out of practice, I hope its like riding a bike and it will come back :).  It is fun to wonder who they are and to feel them.  This pregnancy is so bittersweet, knowing its our last.  I am anxious to meet him/her and be done with the sore hips but then sad that I will never again experience that crazy movement in my tummy.  I am just so thankful God gave me one more chance to be a mom, I am incredibly grateful, a bit teary as I type that and slightly hormonal :).  Soon our "fab 4" will become a "fab 5" and it will be like this little one was always with us.  We love you sweet little one, your siblings and mommy and daddy just can't wait to meet you and buy you shoes ;).

January in Pictures...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Better late than never...a little recap of our January!  Our big highlight was our trip to PA that I already blogged about.  In between, we worked on staying warm, finding fun winter activities to beat the winter doldrums and started finishing our basement (well Scott started and I just gave my opinion on things ;).

Solon and Scott dug out of a nice big snowstorm...they both worked hard and were rewarded with a favorite winter treat, hot chocolate, when they were done!  Vera opted to stay in where it was warm and watch and cheer them on from the window.

I coordinate the Awana store at church 3 times a year.  It is a fun way to be involved without the weekly time commitment.  I decided a fun date following with my little man would be fun.  He ate it up.  We took funny pictures on the phone, ate ice cream, chatted (well I asked 1000 questions), he gave me a kiss and said he loved being with me (a sure bet after that comment, we will do this A LOT  in the future :).

I got to help my friend Emilie out, who works occasionally as a float pharmacist in town.  I watched all the kiddos.  The 4 older ones pretty much keep each other entertained for hours and snuggling a baby is pretty much heaven...and how cute are they all?  They wanted a picture next to the newest member of the bunch!

Vera and I both got new do's which happened to make us look like twinkles.  She wanted long princess hair but fine blonde hair and winter static make that really look rough.  She was fighting ponies in her hair so a new cute look to the rescue.  We all think its darling on her :).

Our kids continue to love their tumbling classes!  Solon was moved up a level so now we spend a whole morning at the gym between both their classes.  I miss when they were in class at the same time but I am glad they are learning, growing and getting stronger.

And of course we fit in some crafting and cooking!

We made jello jugglers but I didn't read the directions so we had just a few which was fine because Solon is the only one that likes jello ;).

And we always have a stash of fun projects in the pantry so they found a few to do...


...and yes we started finishing the basement.  My super handy hubby is doing all the framing and adding HVAC vents, then next up will be electrical (which he is hiring out) and drywalling (also hiring out).  Our goal is to have a completed basement by next holiday season for guests.  Our upstairs bedrooms will all have residents come June ;).  Solon said he doesn't like to go to Menard's with me because daddy and I talk too much (we had a long discussion about doors swinging the correct direction ;).

And that folks was a pretty quiet January...on to February which was colder and snowier ;)!!!  Luckily we missed a week while visiting Nana and Papa in Florida, more on that soon!

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