Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Week 33: Christmas Joys

What a joyful Christmas we were able to have. Does Christmas ever not feel like Christmas to you? I mean, as I've gotten older, I've often commented on how Thanksgiving and/or Christmas just don't feel like they should. This Christmas was different. It totally felt like Christmas though I'm not sure why. Christmas eve we took it easy. We enjoyed some KFC for dinner (aka no cooking, a blessing from my inlaws. The kids were allowed to open one gift each as we do by tradition. When the kids awoke the next day, James read the story of the birth of Christ to them. Then they opened gifts and had a blast. We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and followed that by watching a movie and playing with the new toys. We lazed around the house all day. I cooked a Christmas ham for dinner and we enjoyed our family time. It was a very restful day and enjoyable to spend as a family.

The only downside to Christmas was the usual - being sick. For some reason, I'm sick every year at Christmas. It's usually nothing big, and it wasn't this year either. The kids and I were just full of snot and slightly sore throats from drainage. I slept horribly Christmas Eve simply because I could not breathe out of my nose at all. Two Christmases ago, we were at Kosair's Children's Hospital with Hannah because she had purple lips and was having a hard time breathing. In the end, they couldn't come up with any diagnoses other than a nasty virus. So.... I guess colds were better than hospital visits for sure. We're still getting over the snot. And many of our friends had the stomach bug this Christmas so I'm thankful we didn't have that issue.

For the most part, my back felt better this week. That was a blessing. I've started getting fatigued way easier than I was though. It's everything I can do to run an errand or two with the kids and not feel completely wiped out afterward. Honestly, I don't even have to go anywhere and I feel wiped out most days before lunch. Guess that's just the point in the pregnancy.

One of my very good friends delivered her first baby boy yesterday (they had 2 girls first). She was due 5 1/2 weeks before me. So I'm definitely getting very excited as the day draws quickly near!!!

Until next time...
Take Care,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Week 32: Belly 'Fun' and Back Pain

This week brought the end of our holiday craziness. By God's grace, from now until the new year begins, we have very little on our calendar. And that is simply fantastic!

The weather around here has been a little nutty. We had a decent amount of snow about a week or two ago. Then shortly after that, we got a good deal of ice to slick things up a bit. Now I've heard they are calling for another 4-6in of snow on Christmas Eve. Fun stuff. I took lots of pictures and a few videos for those of you interested, see my last post. It started melting today, just in time for the next batch I guess.

James and I went to a nice, formal Christmas party on Saturday. This was our 3rd year attending and it's always fun. See pictures at the link in my last post as well. I borrowed a maternity dress that worked perfectly. I actually felt cute in it. Kind of hard to feel that way at this point. I feel like I've swallowed a basketball and my face is starting to look like a little round ball itself. :)

So more baby stuff... My midwife appointment was another short and sweet one. Gained 2 more pounds (up 29 now). Blood pressure still great. She didn't comment on the measurements but said everything looked and sounded good. I'll be back again next week. I did ask her about the contractions and she told me it's normal for just about anything to cause contractions at this point. I figured it probably was but wanted to ask just in case. I was actually having a great deal of contractions at our formal event Saturday but after I drank a bit of water they stopped. Guess I was a little dehydrated. I'm trying to stay on top of that.

I've continued to have a lot of back pain: location and intensity dependent on the day. Most of the pains are from the spasms I get on my right, mid-back. Sometimes it's the typical low back pain anyone gets at this point in the pregnancy. For the last few months, I've had the habit of waking up on my back with my arms overhead. (I fall asleep on my side). I have NO idea why I'm sleeping this way or how to stop. But when I do, I often wake up with back pain. Weird.

Anyway, I think I've written enough for the week. Until next time!

Take care,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Snow Fun!

These videos and pictures are from about a week or so ago. We got our first decent snow (about 3-4in). This was before we got a layer of ice on top of it a few days later. :p

See pictures here:


A New Camera!!!

Can I even begin to tell you how exciting this is?! :) I LOVE taking pictures and my camera was on it's last leg. It was literally being held together with electrical tape!

Thanks to the combination of several birthday and Christmas gifts, I have a new toy! My husband also helped with choosing a camera (he works in media and electronics at Meijer) and letting me know when the sale happened. Most of you know how big I am on saving money. The camera retails for $279.99 at Meijer. After a sale, a $20 coupon and our 10% employee discount, I got it for $171 after taxes!

Whoo hoo! Be prepared for lots of GOOD pictures in the future! Just in time for Christmas and just 7 weeks from Sophia's due date!

Take care,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Week 31: Playing in my Ribs

And so it continues.... the busyness that is. BUT, I was just looking at my calendar and after Saturday night, my family does not have another single thing planned in the evening for the next TWO WEEKS! Wow! I don't know that we've had a calendar like that ever! Of course that being said, we're social people and we're sure to add something, even just dinner with friends. And the fact that we do counseling with our church means that anything could come up unexpectedly. Still. I'm excited to see a blank calendar.

The Braxton-Hicks are getting much more frequent and stronger these days. If I've been sitting and I stand suddenly, I get a contraction. If I get really cold or anxious about something (like when I was watching Inception the other night), I get a contraction. It's really quite entertaining. I'm going to mention it to the midwife when I go back and see if she comments.

Sophia has started something new: playing in my ribs. :) I've really never experienced this with any of my previous pregnancies. My babies tend to be small (5.9 and 6.8lbs at birth) and I carry them very low. So I guess that means most of my interesting feelings and pains are in my pelvis and lower abdomen. Feeling the baby in my ribs is funny to say the least. I wonder if she's taller than my other two? Or maybe she's a jumper? haha We'll soon find out!

We're still getting over the snot here. Hannah's eyes are great now. The doctor did end up putting Benjamin on the drops as his eyes were just starting to look a little pink. She'd rather be proactive, all things considering. We just took him in because he'd been fussy and thought maybe he had an ear infection. Ears were clear though. Now if only I could get rid of my snot issues, we'd be set.

Until next time...

Take Care,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Subscribe by Email

Did you happen to notice the new link at the top of these posts? If you'd rather get our blog automatically delivered to your email box each day there is an update, simply click and subscribe here:

Thanks for reading!

Take care,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Week 30: Healthy Yet?

As is typical this time of the year, week 30 was incredibly busy! And yet with that said, there were many fun things keeping us busy too. A cookie exchange, a great early birthday dinner with my husband, an evening chatting with a good friend, and so on. Last Wednesday, the kids had their flu shots and let me say that everyone was going to know it by the end of the day. Wow - bad moods! I babysat a few times and will do so again this week. Fortunately, these last two days, Benjamin has actually been rather happy. It's amazing as I mentioned in the last post he's been pretty miserable the last month or so with one thing after another. I almost forgot about the happy, sweet little kid wrapped up inside of him. So that's definitely a blessing.

Speaking of health, I'm guessing all that snot finally took it's toll. Hannah now has double pink eye. She's on antibiotics and should no longer be contagious after lunchtime today. Now we're praying Benjamin doesn't get it... that won't be fun!

Friday was my midwife appointment. To my great surprise, even after Thanksgiving, my weight gain has slowed down! I only gained 1.5lbs in two weeks... better than I have been. So I'm at 27.5lbs total gain so far. It was a pretty short visit. Everything looked, sounded and measured fine. Back again next week.

I'm continuing to deal with the back spasm a bit. Could be better, could be worse. I guess I need to be grateful I'm not bedridden or anything.

Until next time...
Take Care,

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

400 POSTS!

WOW! I didn't realize how long we'd been blogging until I opened up Blogger today. This is our 400TH POST!

We started blogging in 2007, just after the birth of Hannah and by God's grace, we continue today. We hope this blog continues to inform you all about the happenings of our lives as well and encourage you in the gospel of Christ.

We love you! And please... comment every now and then to let us know you're out there. :) We have no idea who reads this thing!

Take care,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Week 29: Thanksgiving

We're among the fortunate bunch in the sense that we do zero traveling during Thanksgiving. Because of the nature of James' job, he typically works on Thanksgiving itself and always works bright and early on Black Friday. I know many of you ladies were dealing with the discomforts of pregnancy in long car rides and on airplanes - bless you! Instead, Thursday night, we had dinner at our place. A couple of friends of ours came over with their five year old daughter and enjoyed a meal together. Since my mom is living with us, she joined us for the first half of the time our friends were here as well. It was pretty laid back and our kids enjoyed it as well. As a matter of fact, you can watch them goofing off and dancing in our last post or see pictures of the fun here: .

Then Sunday, we had our community group from church over for a potluck dinner. I didn't think to take pictures that night because there were quite a few people here (13 adults and 10 kids). It was a little more rambunctious but fun and lots of good food. So between the two good meals in a row, I'm sure Sophia got her fill. We'll see how much weight I've gained on Friday.

Overall, things seem to be going well with the pregnancy. I have a place on the right side of my middle back that gets a muscle spasm in it off and on, especially when I'm pregnant. That's really been bothering me lately. I'm constantly pulling out my rice sock to relieve the pain since I can't take muscle relaxers while I'm pregnant. My mom keeps getting onto me about carrying my 19mo old around. He's been sick for the last few weeks though and he's cutting THREE molars so I can't help but feel bad for him. Fortunately he's small for his age (only 22lbs), so better than it could be.

Speaking of being sick, the kids and I have been fighting a yucky cold for over a week now. Mainly just congestion and/or runny noses with some of the fun that brings. It seems it may finally be leaving us as I didn't wipe nearly as many snot noses yesterday aside from my own. I sure hope so! It's very hard to sleep when it feels like there are corks in your nose.

Until next time!

Take Care,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Week 28 - Lots of Updates

This past week was incredibly busy with both babysitting and events. But by God's grace, I survived. :) The stomach issues I mentioned last week did end up being viral. Mine subsided on day 6, Benjamin got it a few days later... Right now, we're all fighting a little cold of some sort. Poor Benjamin seems to have it worst with lots of snot and drainage issues. Then of course he can't tell us how he feels so he just cries. It's pitiful. I'm feeling much better today than I have the last few days so I'll take it. There for a day or two, I thought I may have strep. Instead, I think it was just soreness from the drainage.

Anyway, I had my last monthly midwife visit during week 28. From now on, it's bi-weekly visits. I was almost dead on with my weight gain, 26lbs. By tape measure standards, I am measuring behind. That was no surprise though, I always start measuring behind at this point. Since I was already having an ultrasound, there were no worries. My placenta has moved up and is no cause for concern. Yay! Sophia was measuring in the 45th percentile, right on target. The ultrasound tech said my measurements were probably a result of her positioning, way down in my pelvis. I find it interesting that my babies decide to stay as low as they possibly can while in the womb. It's nice that I don't typically have feet in my ribs. It's not so nice in the pain/pressure it can cause in my pelvis.

My blood pressure and vitals were all great. I haven't heard anything about my glucose test which was almost one week ago so that should mean I'm in the clear - hopefully! My back is still hurting a bit and the fatigue is there but manageable. The nausea went away with the stomach issues, praise God!

I've included the latest belly shot, taken at 28wks and 5 days. I think you'll agree - there is certainly a belly there! Of course it's always interesting to see what you look like in different maternity clothes, even on the same day.

Tonight I finished getting all of Sophia's clothes put away. It's becoming more and more real. I can't wait to meet her!

Until next time...
Take Care,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Week 27 - Feeling Very Pregnant

It's amazing what a few short weeks can bring in a pregnancy. Week 27 has left me feeling very pregnant. I'm not exactly sure of my weight gain (I go back to the doc on Wednesday) but I feel like the Goodyear Blimp. I'd guess my weight gain is probably around 25lbs at this point and yet half the people I know keep commenting on how small I am. I really can't figure that out! I wonder how big they think I should be getting? I mention the weight gain mainly because it's leading to other painful issues: sore feet and pain in my lower back. Then for the last five days I've been dealing with tummy troubles. Not sure if I've picked up a mild stomach bug or something but it hasn't been fun. Yep. Pregnancy has fully set in for sure.

To try and keep a positive mindset in this post, as much as I'm aware, little Sophie is doing great. She continues to move around quite frequently. I can't help but daydream sometimes about what she may be like. Will she be stronger willed and dramatic like her sister? Will she be more laid back and energetic like her brother? Will she have medical issues (like Hannah's crazy jaundice, torticollis, crooked sacral dimple or Benjamin's need for a helmet) or allergies (like Hannah's dairy and soy issues)? Will she be a cryer or a content baby? Will she take a pacifier, suck her thumb (like Benjamin) or neither (like Hannah)? Will she be a Mommy's girl or Daddy's girl? What will she look like? When will she get her first teeth? How much hair will she have when she's born? Isn't it funny all the crazy questions that come to mind?

The exhaustion has continued. I've decided it must just be this part of the pregnancy. It doesn't matter how much sleep or rest I'm getting, I'm physically tired just about all day. So I'm trying to be careful not to overdo it - easier said than done during the holidays. I also started to get some evening nausea again. It's not quite as bad as it was during the early days of pregnancy but it's noticeable. It hasn't made me physically sick yet, just yucky feeling.

All that said, I must say, the day cannot come quickly enough. :) I'm ready to hold Sophia in my arms versus my belly. Of course, that doesn't mean I want to go into labor now. I want a full term delivery if possible. I'm glad Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's are fast approaching... it should make the time go by much faster!

Until next time....

Take Care,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Week 26: Busyness Begins

There wasn't really much of anything new going on in week 26. It was slightly busy in the sense that I was preparing and co-teaching a breakout session on hospitality at a women's conference at my church. You can see pictures from it here: . That was Saturday. It was a great time of fellowship and learning and a great joy to be able to participate.

Sunday brought the effects of Daylight Savings. Honestly, the kids adjusted fairly well because I've been backing up their schedules for the last 2 weeks. By the time we 'lost' an hour, they were already adjusted 45 minutes worth. I can tell they've both been very tired in general lately but they're getting the usual amounts of sleep so I'm not sure what the deal is. Then again, as I mentioned in my last post, I've also been extremely tired lately. My latest theory is that it's the indoor heat / dry air that's making us sleepy. Wonder if I'm accurate at all there?

Starting last week, our next two months get crazy for the holiday season. Between James' jobs and other activities, things don't slow down much until January. So here's to praying for peace in the midst of it all!

This weekend I'm hosting a baby shower for a good friend of mine. She has two little girls right now and this will be their first boy. It should be fun. This week and next are busy for me on the babysitting side. But busy with babysitting means extra money so that's a bonus for sure. I have my next midwife appointment on Wednesday complete with glucose testing and another ultrasound to make sure my placenta is out of the way. Then I have one more women's conference on the weekend. But that one I'm not teaching anything, just attending, so that should be fun as well.

Sophia continues to do somersaults in my belly. I can tell how big she's getting when I feel her on both sides at the same time. James and I have been toying with the idea lately that maybe she'll be blonde or have blue eyes. Ha! Not a likely chance considering he's Asian but we can pretend, right?

Until next time...

Take Care,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Week 25: Halloween Fun and Family Visit

So week 25 went so fast I completely forgot I hadn't journaled about it! Forgive me for the delay! As I mentioned in my last post, my husband's mom and dad (Mama Tess and Papa Ben as we call them) came into town for a visit from Florida. We stayed incredibly busy with activity but enjoyed ourselves during it. The only thing I mentioned in my last post we didn't get to was the Elmo exhibit. We simply ran out of time!

As for Halloween fun, we attended the Zoo party and Trick-or-Treating in our neighborhood. Hannah LOVED getting all the candy this year and very much enjoyed being Minnie Mouse twice. Benjamin's 'ears' kept falling down so that was a bit annoying and he wasn't a huge fan of the gloves, though he did okay with them. If you want to see more pictures of our activities, check out our last few posts.

The fatigue is quickly setting back in. I'm not sure if it was just having a busy week and weekend or if it's just that time of the pregnancy. I'm feeling pretty wiped out by 8ish, even if I get a nap in the afternoon. I do get up at 6am most days but I'm typically in bed around 10. I'd think 8 hours would be enough sleep. With the extra weight on my body, I'm starting to feel it more physically. A few weeks ago, I started doing Yoga again. I borrowed a prenatal yoga video from a friend and it's been great. I feel SO much better afterwards. I'm averaging 3-4 days a week with it.

Sophia is REALLY starting to move around now. I mean, I've felt her for weeks but it's turning more into that 'alien in my belly' look/feel. It's quite entertaining. Hannah has enjoyed the few times she's felt her moving. She even knocks on my belly to 'wake her up.' haha

Until next time...

Take Care,

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Pictures!

Pictures from Huber Farms (click on the image below for more):

Halloween Fun!

Some pre-Halloween fun! More pictures coming soon!

Click on the picture below to see them. :)

Take care!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Week 24: Heart and Baby Updates

I realized in my last post, I mentioned going to my "new" midwife appointment. I meant "next" not "new". :) That went well. She really didn't seem all that concerned about the weight gain. She said I was still on target for a normal gain (up to 35lbs). Obviously since I know I have a loving affection towards chocolate, she told me to watch myself, as hard as that may be during the holidays. But aren't desserts one of the best things about the holidays?! :) So yes, I've gained a bit (I don't remember the exact number on the scale but it was between 20-22lbs more than I started). Yet people keep commenting on how 'little' I look. When I tell them how much I've gained they are astounded. Then they go into these stories about how they gained WAY more with their third pregnancy as well and it was WAY harder to lose then it was with their first two. G-r-e-a-t. Encouraging stuff there!

My next appointment will be rather long with a touch of fun and not-so-fun things. The not-so-fun glucose test will be a part of it. Then afterwards, I get to eat and drink a lot of water and have another ultrasound. Because my placenta was rather low last time, they just want to make sure it's not going to be a problem. I'm okay with that, I love ultrasounds! Then the usual appointment with the midwife afterwards.

The Braxton-Hicks contractions are finally back. Not that I missed them for sure. I'm having trouble falling asleep at night again. This is rarely a problem for me as I'm so exhausted by bedtime, I fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow. I'm thinking my nice daytime naps are the culprit. So I'm limiting myself there.

Got a call from the cardiologist today. He said my ECHO/stress test combination came back completely normal. Yay...I think? It's frustrating to have no obvious 'cause' for these issues but reassuring to know nothing serious is wrong. So no more tests unless something crazy happens. Fortunately, I've been feeling pretty good these last few weeks overall. So that's a certain praise.

My inlaws come in town this week. We haven't seen them since July (they live in Florida and we're in Kentucky) and we probably won't see them again until Sophia joins us. It should be a fun time doing a few things with the kids. We'll probably go to an Elmo exhibit/learn-about-the-body thing one day. Plan on the huge Halloween party at the zoo one night. Fun at a farm one morning and then of course Trick or Treating Sunday night. All weather-pending of course. The kids are going to be Mickey and Minnie Mouse... I'm still finishing up their costumes. I'll think they'll be super cute. I'll be sure to include pictures once I get them!

I guess that's it for now! Until next time...

Take Care,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Week 23: Honeymoon Trimester Thoughts

I simply cannot believe it's almost November! Sometimes I think meeting little Sophie is still a long ways away... Yet, knowing the holiday season tends to fly by, other times it feels like it's almost right around the corner! Seriously, I'm due just over one month past Christmas and everything between now and Christmas gets busy. My husband is the manager of media and electronics at a local super 'box' store. As you could probably guess, his department gets particularly crazy during this season - especially Black Friday and on. I'm very excited about Sophia's arrival though. Since my husband is Asian and I'm white, it's always particularly intriguing to see what our babies will look like. As you can tell by our family picture, they carry a great deal of the predominant Asian traits. And yet, for those that know us well, people constantly tell me Hannah looks so much like me. My sister-in-law even says she's the Asian "version" of me. haha I've always found that entertaining. So I look forward to seeing Sophie's sweet little face and debating who she got which traits from.

I have my new midwife appointment Wednesday (20th). I have a feeling I'll get some comments on my weight gain. When I went to the cardiologist last week, they weighed me. Assuming their scale is in line with the one at my midwife's office, I've gained 20lbs already with this pregnancy! Holy moly! I only gained 29 total with Hannah and 31 with Benjamin. Even if I slow down and only gain the recommended 1lb per week till delivery, I'm still looking at 37. Agh. I know I'm not overeating but I do need to be more mindful of how many sweets I eat. It's just strange... I swear I'm not eating any more (or exercising any less) then I did with the other two but my body is just acting differently this time. And some people from church are still approaching me and proclaiming "I didn't even know you were pregnant." Seriously?! You don't see this huge bump in front of me!?

My cardiologist appointment went well, though nothing new to announce. He still seems confused even after 3 1/2 weeks of me wearing a heart monitor. He wants to do one more test and then if it comes back okay, be done. He seems to think it's just the extra stress of the pregnancy on my body and bad heartburn on top of it. I guess only the good Lord knows.

Overall, minus the heart issues when they arise, I'm feeling pretty good during this phase of the pregnancy. They call the second trimester the honeymoon trimester for a reason I guess. My back hurts a little but usually only when I overwork myself during the day or pick up one too many kids too often. I'm not really feeling sick anymore. Just heartburn issues and being stopped up occasionally. With my first two, I had a really stuffy nose the entire pregnancies. I've only had the slightest issues with that so far. Fatigue depends on the day. I still nap about 4-5 days during the week when the kids nap. Since I get up at 6a, I'm usually pretty wiped out by nap time. So that's a blessing.

Until next time!

Take Care,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Week 22: Random Tidbits

I just realized that I forgot to write about a big change last week. Hannah and I got a great deal of hair chopped off (21 inches between the two of us) to donate. This was Hannah's first haircut ever so it was pretty exciting. We donated it to an organization called Children with Hairloss as their standards for donations are a little more relaxed then some other companies that do similar donations. They seem to be a pretty neat charity as much as I can tell.

So for week 22.... it was fairly relaxed really. We had several things scheduled over the weekend. However, we ended up unexpectedly housing some guests from Houston and so we canceled our other plans. These last few weeks have really been quite relaxed and I'm a big fan of relaxed!

There's nothing much new going on with Sophia. Continuing to move around a lot, which I love. On the not so fun side, the heartburn issues are getting even more persistent. It's weird. If I eat too much, I start getting heartburn. That one makes sense. But then when my stomach starts to get empty again, the heartburn returns. Can anyone explain that one to me?

I go back to the cardiologist Thursday to see what he'll say, if anything new. I'm going to ask him about the toll this issue may be taking on my body long term. If it is indeed a result of the pregnancy, we are considering this being our last. That said, we are not ready to stop growing our family and have always had hearts for adoption. Even if this does end up being our last biological child, we'll certainly pursue the orphan next. We'll see what the Lord brings our way!

Until next time...
Take Care,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Week 21: A Developing Fear

Well, there hasn't been a lot of exciting things to follow up on in week 21 regarding pregnancy really. Whatever is going on with my heart is a little annoying. My cardiologist called last week to let me know that my ECHO results were normal. That's good. And yet, it's frustrating to know 'everything's alright' but 'everything's not alright' and there is still no answer. He told me to continue wearing the heart monitor until my next visit (Oct. 18) and we'll go from there. The days continue to be very off and on. Some days, I am in pain and have shortness of breath all day... other days, I feel completely normal. I will admit that I'm starting to develop a small fear regarding this whole mess. I know he's said that if it is pregnancy related (and due to the excess physical demands on my body), I wonder what labor and delivery will look like. The issues typically get worse when I do over-exert myself physically (though they can really get worse even if I'm sitting around doing nothing). So my fear is that when I go into labor, the physical and emotional demands on my body may cause a real problem. This is all speculation but a fear I'm developing none-the-less. I'm certainly going to clarify with the doctor when I go back and see what he thinks. Pray for that I'm not anxious over something that may never happen in the first place.

In the meantime, Sophia is definitely getting more noticeably active. I LOVE feeling her move around and it makes me smile each time. I'm sure it will begin to get a bit frustrating once she tries to keep me awake at night. But for now...

Hannah continues to be both excited and protective of her. My little guy, Benjamin, likes to wrestle and crawl around on top of everyone if they'll let him. If he gets on top of, or too rowdy with my stomach, Hannah is quick to remind him to be careful for baby Sophia. She's excited about playing dress up "when they get older" and sharing her room with her sister. I look forward to see the sisters interact as I had a sister and can't imagine not.

Hannah and Benjamin have both been very challenging lately. Hannah (who's about 3 1/2) has really started having a smart mouth and Benjamin (17mo) has entered tantrum stage. It seems that both have increased at once so we're really praying and seeking hard how to respond and discipline them both in their issues. We don't want to just change their behavior, we want to reach and change their hearts. By God's grace, this too shall pass.

Until next time...

Take Care,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Week 20 - Halfway There!

We had our official ultrasound and first midwife checkup in 5 weeks so I was anxiously awaiting week 20. And it didn't disappoint. We were able see a great ultrasound and confirm the baby is a girl. She measured amazingly average (our kids tend to be on the small size) and my due date was not adjusted. Everything looked great. My placenta is low lying but the midwife said it was not low enough to be of concern.

On the more surprising side of things was my weight gain. So far, I'd only gained 3lbs. Well, add 5 weeks of less nausea and an increased appetite and add NINE pounds! Holy moly! My midwife gave me the benefit of a doubt and suggested a pound or two could probably be attributed to the nearly 30oz of water I drank before my ultrasound. She didn't seem overly concerned and neither am I. So far I've gained 12lbs and I'm 21wks. With my other two kids, I gained 13lbs in the first trimester alone! In the end, I gained 29 with my daughter and 31 with my son. So we'll see. I started off at 118lbs and 5'6 so I could stand to gain a little anyway. :)

Other vitals and everything were great. That's always a nice thing. I guess the next big and non-exciting test will be the glucose screening. I failed it the first time with my son and passed it with flying colors the second time. I'm quite certain my breakfast played a part that day. I'm going to request to do it fasting the first time to keep from having to mess with a retest for no good reason. Hopefully they'll let me.

We went out of town for my nephew's 5th birthday party this weekend. It was a very short trip as we left Friday morning and returned Saturday night (it's about a 4hr drive with kids). By God's grace, both kids did really well overall with the driving. My husband had to work so it was just me with them. On Saturday morning, I got nauseous out of the blue. That hasn't happened in a while. I ate a peanut butter sandwich and drank some Sprite. After about an hour or so, it passed. That was a blessing.

Until next time...

Take Care,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Week 19: Cardio Updates and Bouncing Sophia

Week 19 was pretty busy. I babysat three different days (which can be draining on top of my own two kids and being pregnant). On Thursday, I had my cardiology appointment. The doctor was very friendly and very thorough. I really appreciate it when a doctor takes me seriously, listens to all of my random ailments and seems to genuinely care how I'm feeling. After listing what all was going on with my symptoms, he decided to do another EKG, schedule me for an ECHO and put me on a heart monitor (for 2-4wks). I'm still awaiting the scheduling for the ECHO (we've been playing phone tag). I've had the heart monitor on since Saturday night. It's a little bit of a pain to mess with but not uncomfortable. I just have to be sure my clothing works appropriately with it. I can mostly hide the electrodes stuck to my chest but definitely not the big pager looking contraption on my pocket. It monitors continuously but only records when I tell it too. Basically any time I have any symptoms, I press record and then later send it via telephone to the company. They send a report to my doctor and he monitors things. Fun stuff! :)

So what did he actually say? Well, he's not sure what's causing it though he doesn't believe it's structural (blockage, etc.) based on my symptoms and other factors. The ECHO will confirm that. He did seem to think it's pregnancy related - though not serious. He said my heart is likely just working harder with this fourth pregnancy. So...though uncomfortable, another doc says it's likely not serious. That's hopeful. We'll see if anything comes up with the heart monitor or ECHO.

Babywise... little Sophia is finally doing some flips. :) I say finally because I felt it was forever before she really started making 'noticeable' movements. I LOVE feeling the baby move during pregnancy. That is by far my favorite part. Now that being said, they can certainly make you uncomfortable at times but I still like it overall. It's such a joy and seems so miraculous to me. By the time I write next, I'll be able to give all the fun info from my midwife visit. We have our 20 wk ultrasound and I always love watching that. It's also reassuring if there are no health issues of course. I'm always curious to see how 'average' the baby is in size. I tend to have slightly smaller children (my hubby is Asian and 5'3") so that's fun too. A confirmation of the baby's sex from another doctor will be great too. You hear so many stories of the sex being wrong. I can't imagine! As much as we're aware, she's a Sophia!

I've also included a picture of me taken at 19wks and 3 days. There's no missing the belly!

Until next time...

Take Care,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Guessing the Baby's Sex

Here is a video of the kid's guessing the baby's gender.

A side note...they were correct!

Take care,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Week 18: IT'S A GIRL and Related Pregnancy Myths

Week 18 ended up being a big and exciting week for us on the pregnancy-side of life! Though we're not scheduled for our anatomy ultrasound until week 20 with our midwife's office, we have friends in high places. :) Ha! Basically, we have a friend who was an OB for 25 years before beginning a teaching career at the school we got our Masters degrees from. We met him when pregnant with our oldest. He still volunteers at the school's clinic, where they also have an ultrasound machine. I contacted him to see if he'd be willing to try and see the sex for us. Not only did he work us into a busy schedule, he did the ultrasound for FREE!

At first, Little Bit wasn't in the best viewing position. From what he saw then, he thought it was probably a girl but didn't confirm yet. He explained sometimes at this stage, a little boy's 'parts' may not have descended yet and it was hard to tell for sure based on the baby's position. We continued to check out other important aspects of the baby to reveal a beautiful head, brain formation, heart chambers, etc. The placenta is in a good place so no fear of Previa. Then, the baby moved around a bit on her own to give us a crystal clear shot of her 'parts'. The doctor told us that while little boy's could often hide their 'stuff,' he was fairly certain there was no where for this baby to be hiding anything! He confidently told us we were having another little girl! We're super excited and so is our daughter. Our next big excitement will be seeing Sophia Joy's beautiful face early next year!

All that said, I'm convinced that a few more pregnancy 'wives tales' are simply myths.

#1: A woman's 'boy' pregnancies will be distinctive from her 'girl' pregnancies. False. So far, in many more ways than not, this pregnancy has mirrored that of my son's. And... she's not a boy.
#2: A woman can just 'feel' whether or not she's having a boy or girl. False (and don't get testy on me here, hehe). I've now been pregnant 4 times (though we lost the second early on). I'm one for three in the guessing game as I've 'felt' all the pregnancies were boys. You have a 50/50 shot at guessing right - some of you are just good guessers. :)

I feel like I've suddenly ballooned in size. Really, it's as if I woke up with a belly one day. I'll try to take an updated picture soon. My cardiologist appointment is Thursday so I'll update on that when I can. So far, my heart issues have been touch and go. Pretty regular for about a week and then barely noticeable the last two days... so that's a praise.

Until next time, take care!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Week 17: Heart Problems

And now the real fun begins! Remember the comments in my last post about chest pain and such? Well, I went to the doctor upon some friends' encouragements and lo and behold, I'm not imagining things. After an EKG and some other fun tests, he said he's pretty sure I have something called Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia and thinks it was brought on by the pregnancy. He said it could possibly be from the increased blood volume. He told me it was going to be more aggravating and wearisome than dangerous. The longer my heart rate stays elevated, the more tired I'll be. It stays over 100 pretty much every day with spurts much higher than that for no apparent reason. For now, my only instructions are to increase my water intake, call if things get worse and wait for my appointment with the cardiologist in about a week and a half. Even being told there's no reason to worry, it's a bit hard not too when my chest hurts pretty much all day and I can't slow my heart down. I feel like I've been on a treadmill for 30 minutes when I've done absolutely nothing. So there's how you can pray for me.

Sleep is going a bit better. Still waking up but not as often. Heartburn about the same. I'm doing a better job of watching my intake though so that's helpful.

I've felt the baby a tad bit more this week. That's really good since I haven't been feeling well. I do worry that after switching to a midwife, I'll still end up having to go to the OB now that I've got a 'heart issue.' (And may I clarify - I'm not anti-OB, I just switched offices specifically to have these particular midwives, that's all). :) My cardiologist appointment is before my next midwife visit so at least I'll have something a little more concrete. At that point, I guess I'll find out if I'm considered high risk.

So all this sounds so negative and I guess on the health side, it is. However, the week itself was not bad. We had a weekend of gorgeous weather here in Louisville. In one day I went shopping with my mom and the kids, went on a picnic and to the park, flew a kite with my daughter and painted finger and toenails with her. Sunday we went to church as a family, ate a great lunch at Qdoba (my favorite place!), took a nice, long, breeze-filled afternoon nap and rested in the evening. It was a great weekend! This coming week, my husband and I celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary so that's exciting! Even in the midst of uncertainty and heartache (literally, hehe), God has been good in bringing me joy.

Until next time...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Week 16: Changes and Challenges

This week was a bit draining on the physical side - part pregnancy related, part not. The heartburn has certainly increased. I really have to watch how much dinner I eat or I'm miserable for quite a while afterwards. One night, even with medication, I was in great pain for about 2 hours after dinner. Whew... no fun! Then I've been having some chest pains and breathing issues that I'm not sure are pregnancy related. I'm actually going to the doctor about that this afternoon so I'll update more on that later. Every other month or so, I wake up every morning with a tense neck and have headaches pretty much every day for a week or two. That's been ongoing for about 4-5 days now. Hopefully that's almost over. And I'm waking up constantly overnight for no apparent reason and not able to fall asleep for a nap most days. Needless to say, it's been a bit challenging - and yet God has been good to sustain me.

I did get my ultrasound rescheduled and it's only a day later. So September 22nd is the planned day. James and I were talking about it again the other day. Though we both kind of want another girl, we're both pretty convinced it's a boy. The pregnancy has been most similar to that with Benjamin, for whatever that's worth. Then again, I've thought all of my pregnancies were boys... hehe We'll just have to wait and see. I'm really excited to see the ultrasound too just because I don't feel the baby all that much. I remember feeling Benjamin much more by this point in the pregnancy. It'll just be nice peace of mind.

One of my closest college friends came and visited during week 16. That was nice. The last time I saw her was under sad circumstances as she lost her second child to SIDS. It was nice to chat, get to know each other better as mamas and have our husbands involved as well. Before then, she didn't really know my husband well because they haven't lived here since I got married.

In the next week or two, I plan to begin preschool homeschooling our daughter Hannah. We're using Sonlight's P4/5 curriculum and I'm pretty excited about it. I've been prepping myself and arranging our schedule to fit it in to our day to day routines. We're also starting a homeschool co-op on September 13th so I'm really looking forward to that.

Benjamin has been pretty miserable this week trying to cut a tooth. I've been able to see the tooth right under his gum line for about a week now. He started drooling again, had a low fever for a few days, constantly has something shoved in his mouth and has been crying like it's the end of the world. We took him to the doc just to rule out anything else (which she did), so we're just waiting. I feel bad for the little guy but it's been very draining on Mommy as well. :)

I think that's enough for now! Until next time...

Take care,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Week 15: Felt that little one!

Goodbye nausea and hello heartburn! Ha! But you know what? I'll take this heartburn over the nausea any day! It's not that the upset stomach is over, just better. I don't typically feel like I'm going to vomit now as I just feel kind of yucky off and on all day. And most of those times I can appease it with food, though not always. But like I said, I'd rather have the heartburn. A little Tums or Zantac and it only sticks around 30min or so. Also, I just mentioned in my last post that my skin had been nice and clear. No longer! I suddenly can't stop breaking out. Boo!

Week 15 was pretty busy. I already wrote about my midwife visit so I won't repeat that. I'm supposed to find out the sex of the baby on Sept. 21. However, I just found out that I have to work that day (I nanny a little boy, usually twice weekly) so I'm going to have to move it. Hopefully it'll still be close to that day! In addition to seeing the midwife, my husband and I were busy with a wedding. We do premarital counseling through our church and being a pastor, my husband periodically marries the couples as well. So Friday night we had a really yummy dinner at a local restaurant. I ate WAY too much and was very uncomfortable. Well, I guess it made Little Bit uncomfy too because not once but twice I felt very noticeable kicks/jabs in my lower belly. Though I could always be wrong, I'm pretty certain those were the first noticeable movements I've felt this pregnancy. Hands down, my favorite part of pregnancy is feeling the baby move. To me, there is just something so amazing about having a tiny human growing and moving inside of me.

Then Saturday night we had the wedding for the couple. It was an outside, country wedding and was so cute! The food there was fabulous as well. Now that food isn't making me so queasy, I'm eating more and therefore dealing with heartburn. Monday night, I took my mom to see a Mercy Me concert up at the Kentucky State Fair. It's been a while since I've been to a concert. After a lot of walking, we enjoyed a great concert in a stadium with beautiful weather!

Speaking of weather, it's finally cooled down here a bit in Kentucky. It's been in the 80's with the occasional breeze versus 90s-100s! I LOVE the fall! I'm sure we'll still get a few more heat spurts before it's over but for now, I'm enjoying it.

Until next time...

Take Care,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Week 14: Return of Nausea and Fatigue

The beginning of this week brought an increase in my nausea and fatigue... not cool at all! The first couple of days were a bit of a struggle. These last few days have been a bit better but still battling off and on during the day, and peaking at night. I keep telling myself the nausea has got to be over sooner or later. Then I've noticed feeling a bit more tired as well. Maybe that's partly due to the increase in nausea. Maybe I've just been busier. Not sure really. I nanny a little boy (who's currently 20mo old), twice weekly. Occasionally I have his 3yr old brother too. Last week I did have them both (on top of my 3yr old and 15mo old). It was a long day. :) The 20mo old learned how to crawl out of the play pen instead of taking his required afternoon nap. That didn't go over real well. His mom is going to bring a canopy next time. Fun stuff!

Other than that, not much exciting happened so I'm going to 'cheat' a little and tell you about my first day of week 15 (my midwife visit). :) It was super short and sweet. Blood pressure great (112/66), weight gain good (3.2lbs since last visit 4wks ago), and heartbeat sounding nice and clear this time. For some strange reason, I actually enjoy my prenatal visits. It's not like I do anything fun while I'm there. It's just that every visit gives me the reassurance I need that things are still moving along well. I'm already having a noticeable amount of pressure 'down there' so I mentioned that to her. She said it was very common with third pregnancies or more. My tummy is having a much more difficult time digesting food this go around so that's not been fun either. Then the fact that everyone keeps commenting on how 'little' weight I've gained or how 'tiny' I still am really bothers me. I wanted to make sure my midwife wasn't concerned. She said I can 'blame' the small tummy on a long torso and the fact that I'm only 15weeks along (which is what I keep trying to remind everyone). She said my uterus measures exactly where it should.

My next appointment is not scheduled for five weeks but it's done that way so they can do the ultrasound at the same time. For some reason, they prefer to wait until 20 weeks to do the anatomy scan. SO, September 21st is the big day if the baby cooperates! James and I are hoping for another girl this time, partly for practical reasons and partly cause I want Hannah to have a sister somewhat close in age. My sister and I are 18mo apart and I couldn't imagine it any different. Hannah will already be nearly 4 years older even if it is a girl. We'll see. We'll obviously be happy either way. A girl will be Sophia Joy and a boy will be Daniel Brian.

In my last post, I mentioned Hannah getting used to being without her beloved blanket for sleep times. She had a rough first few days but is doing great now so that's good news!

Until next time...

Take Care,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Week 13: Pregnancy Comparisons

Ready for some fun? Time for some pregnancy comparisons. :) First, the picture:
The funny part - I'm wearing a sweater in the beginning of August when it was nearly 100 degrees outside of my house. Ha! That's because I love the readers enough to give you a true comparison picture. I just think it's fun. As you can tell, I definitely have a bit more of a 'pooch' this go around then I did with my last two. I feel way bigger right now then I was then, when it fact, pound for pound, I weigh much less. For some crazy reason, with Hannah and Benjamin's pregnancies, I gained nearly 13lbs in the FIRST trimester. Yeah... you read that right. This time, I only gained 3 (which is normal, you're supposed to gain 3-5 or something like that). That and the fact that I started out weighing a bit less when I got pregnant this time really confuses me. So my assumption as to the belly - few ab muscles. :) I really don't mind anyway... I prefer to be at the stage of pregnancy where people can 'tell' I'm pregnant and not just wonder if it's leftovers from the other 2. Then again, no strangers have openly guessed I am pregnant yet.

So... more comparisons. Nausea and sickness-wise, this pregnancy has been almost identical to my last (with my son Benjamin). As far as timing, intensity and so forth, that is. So far my face has not broken out. With Benjamin, it broke out like I was a teenager again. With Hannah, I had amazingly clear skin - about like now. Emotionally, I think my hormones are starting to level out. I've always been an easy crier but it seems to be back to normal again.

I've had a few nights difficulty sleeping well. I'm falling asleep okay but waking up very often throughout the night for no apparent reason. Of course half the time I've rolled onto my back (I'm a side sleeper) and I'm not comfortable. Maybe that's part of it.

Today we decided to take my daughter's beloved blankets and replace them with a "Build a Bear" gift. She sleeps while sucking on the edges of the blanket and has since she was 1. We wouldn't mind for her to continue if she didn't keep it in her mouth. It just gets really gross and has to be washed constantly - obviously not hygienic. She was super excited this morning as we made the trip very special (we've never been to Build-a-Bear). She chose a gray kitty cat and had a lot of fun with it. However, when nap time came, all excitement was out the door and she was incredibly upset. Pray for a smooth transition as there will probably be a few rough sleep times.

I guess that's it for now! Until next time...

Take Care,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Week 12: Back Home and Exhausted

What a blur week twelve was! We had lots to do in Hawaii and little time to rest in between. Considering it will not be likely that we'll be visiting again anytime in the near future, we tried to hit a lot of the good 'places to go.' My in-laws live in Kailua, Oahu, which apparently is known to have the best beaches. Beach-wise, we went to Ala Moana, Kailua and the well known Lanikai (which had the softest sand I've ever felt in my life). We also walked up Waikiki beach en route to the aquarium. We 'accidentally' hiked a total of 4 miles up and down Makapu'u in flip flops, wearing no sun screen, with no water or food, and with the 2 kiddos in the double stroller. Long story short...there was a misunderstanding. We thought we were just going a short distance to see a lighthouse land mark, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into! We spent two Sundays and a Wednesday evening at my in-laws church (Kailua Baptist). It was good getting to know the people there and we were very blessed. Not only were my sis-in-law and her husband there, my mother-in-law and father-in-law were there for the ordination ceremony as well. So we had a great deal of time to spend with the family and were very blessed by them all in many, many ways! I won't go into all of the things we did while we were there because it would take up too much space. But we had fun. The plane rides back were way harder than the ones there. We were exhausted, the kids did not sleep as well as I'd hoped and even when they did, it was nearly impossible for James and I to fall asleep. Our second flight took about 45 minutes longer than planned because of bad weather and Benjamin cried nearly the entire (almost 2 hr) flight. I hated having 'that kid' on a tiny plane. We returned to find our one checked bag never left Chicago and that took a while to sort through the paperwork (fortunately it was delivered to us the very same day)! LONG DAY. We are now trying our best to catch up on rest. Gladly, we have some off days here at the house and have been laying around a lot.

So baby-wise... nausea continues to be touch and go but WAY better than it was. The Zophran was definitely a life saver in Hawaii. I tried to only take it once per day and occasionally I didn't take it at all. I actually did not get physically sick until the very end of our time there. Then, it was probably lack of rest and continued change of diet. I continued to have tummy troubles until we returned home but things seem to be normal again there. :) I've been super tired but I have no doubt that is due to jet lag (6hr time difference) and pure fatigue from doing so much while we were there. Now I'm trying to get the house back in order and I need to make a grocery run. Life in the fast lane again!

I'll close with the pictures of Hawaii I've been promising. Enjoy!!!

Take Care,

Hawaii Pictures!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Week 11: Hawaii and less nausea

This past week has been extremely different from the last few. In the beginning of week 11, the nausea actually seemed to increase. About half-way through, I noticed I was feeling okay in the morning but still nauseous in the evenings. Talk about excited! On Friday morning we left for Hawaii. By God's great grace, I didn't even get nauseous for the first 9 hours or so of flight time. Once we arrived in Maui the nausea and fatigue really started to kick in. We had one more flight (to Oahu) which was only 45min long. When we finally arrived at my sister-in-law's place, I was beat. There is a six hour time change and so we wanted to try and stay up to get used to the difference. Our son slept all his normal naps along the way but our 3yr old daughter didn't sleep at all. We finally went to bed at what would've been around 2am our normal time. LONG day for sure! Now we've been here about 4 full days and have adjusted pretty well. We have 6 more to go which is awesome. Then we get to do all the travel and time change again. :)

Nausea has been super off and on. I felt great during the mornings for about 4 or 5 days and started getting nauseous in the evenings after dinner. Then yesterday and today, I've felt nauseous off and on all day again. Blah. Fortunately, my doc prescribed me some Zophran for the trip. That has given me some relief though not entirely. I've also been having tummy troubles ever since arriving....not sure what the deal is there. All that said, we've had a good time. My husband's bro-in-law is going to be ordained on Sunday and my husband is part of the process, that's why we're here. Of course it makes for a nice vacation as well! I don't really have the time and energy to upload pictures right now so maybe with my next post.

I was talking to my husband today about pregnancy stuff. I remember during my second pregnancy noticing I was somewhat bigger by my 11th-13th weeks. This time, comparing myself to pictures taken with my last two, I feel WAY bigger. Funny thing is that I've gained less weight so far but really feel a ton bigger. Oh well.... guess that's what happens when you're not in great shape prior to getting pregnant with your third. People are always commenting on how skinny I am (which I am very small for my size) and yet I have to remind them that you can be skinny and very out of shape.

Well, back to enjoying our vacation. It's nice to know my mom is taking care of our place while we're gone (thanks Mom!). Until next time...

Take Care,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Week 10: First Midwife Visit

Week 10 was a bit more eventful than 9, so there's more to write about. :) Unfortunately, my nausea/vomitting seems to have worsened. I'm hoping it's just peaking with my hormones and will calm down soon. As I write this, I'm officially on day one of week 11 so we'll see.

One exciting thing: we officially settled on baby names... for the most part. If the baby is a girl, she'll be Sophia Joy. Sophia is Greek for wisdom and the meaning of Joy is obvious. If the baby is a boy, his name will be Daniel. We haven't agreed on a middle name yet, though we're thinking maybe Thomas. So that's the big deal for the week.

Yesterday, I had my first official pregnancy visit and at a new office. Both the office and the staff were highly recommended to me by multiple friends. It's the first time I've had a midwife as opposed to an OB so it'll be a little new for me. Over all, the visit went very well. I've only gained 2-3 lbs (which surprised me, I feel bigger). Blood pressure and vitals were good. Had all the routine things done (bloodwork, pap, etc). My favorite part, as always the first visit, was hearing the baby's heartbeat for the first time. There is just something so magical and miraculous about that to me. It's amazing to me that the baby can be barely over an inch long (from head to bottom) and yet technology allows us to hear that tiny heartbeat! I just smiled and smiled. Another plus, the midwive wrote me a prescription for Zophran to try and help with my nausea/vomitting issues. This Friday we're leaving for Hawaii and will be on three planes for a total of about 11-12hrs. We have a 3yr old and a 15mo old (who will be a lap baby). She said the Zophran would be better for the trip than Phenergan because it doesn't have the sedative effect. We'll see. I'm up for trying anything.

Speaking of Hawaii...that's the big prayer request of the week. In addition to the literal flight time, we'll have a 6hr time change. I'm pretty nervous about all that. We'll be gone for 11 days. My husband's brother-in-law is being ordained and my husband (a lay pastor) is part of the ceremony. We're excited about it. Fortunately, my mom is currently living with us so she'll be able to watch and take care of the house while we're gone. If I get any good pictures, I'll try to include some in one of my next few posts.

I guess that's it for now...

Until next time, take care,

Friday, July 16, 2010

Week 9: Cow Appreciation Day

Week 9 came and went with little new. That's not a bad thing really.... it means nothing new and bad happened. It just doesn't pose for as great of reading in my journals. :)

The nausea/vomiting battle has continued. Food just isn't as much fun right now. I eat because I'm nauseous, not usually because I'm hungry. If I eat anything past dinner, it'll probably come back up so I've started refraining from that. The smell of just about everything grosses me out so I breathe through my mouth a good portion of the day.

One fun thing we did do as a family this week was attend Chick-Fil-A's National Cow Appreciation Day. For those of you unfamiliar, if you dress like a cow and come into the restaurant on that day (July 9), you get a free meal. Free food? Always up for that. So, all four of us (yes, all of us) dressed as cows. I took Chick-Fil-A's 'starter kit' from their website and printed a few copies. Then I stapled the spots/signs to our outfits (old clothes that were mainly black or white). Hannah and I wore our ears in pigtails to look like ears. Benjamin and James had ears taped to headbands. The kids and I also had our noses painted brown. Check out our picture! It was a lot of fun and we were more creative this year than last. Maybe next year will be even more entertaining as there will be 5 of us. :)

Other than that, there's really nothing exciting to report. My first appointment with my midwife is Monday. This is a brand new office and staff for me so I should have plenty to share about. I'll keep you posted!

Take Care,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Week 8: Sick

So now that week 8 is over, I'm telling myself I'm one week closer to feeling better. Right? OH how I pray! I'm finally physically getting sick, not fun. And it's way worse in the evenings. Last night, I was putting Hannah to bed and had a sudden urge to be sick. When I rushed to the bathroom and threw up, she started crying. I felt so bad for her. I tried to tell her I was okay, I'm just a little sick. She told me she didn't want me to be sick. I explained that I didn't want to be sick either but sometimes we get sick anyway. Then she sniffed the air and said, "Mommy, what's that smell?" When I told her it was the vomit, she yelled "Ewwwwww. That's yucky. Mommy, you stink!" So much for empathy. :)

The fatigue is not horrible right now, so that's a praise. I've learned that if I get something on my stomach soon after waking, I can stomach a cup of coffee shortly afterwards. If I get that cup of coffee, I can make it till the kid's naptime - at least so far. By God's grace, about 5 days a week, I'm napping while the kids do so that's a HUGE help.

Then I have a great husband and mom. I feel really bad because I've let the house go a bit and I always start feeling the worst right after James gets home from work. Both he and my mom (who's living with us temporarily) have been cleaning up the after dinner mess. Then one will bathe the kids and the other clean up the rest of the house. And all while I sit staring blankly into a wall feeling like any movement will end badly. So I'm incredibly grateful for them. Just tonight, after dinner (and a busy day at work), James took both kids out for a 'date' so Mommy could get some rest. Seriously great.

I realize I've spoken about not much other than feeling gross. Well, that pretty much sums up the week honestly. I need every bit of grace every morning I awake.

In other news, I had a checkup for my BPPV (positional vertigo). I started having extremely dizzy/nausea bouts shortly after Benjamin was born in April 09. After 5 months, a lot of bloodwork, 2 MRIs, and 5 doctors, I was finally diagnosed with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. The BPPV itself is officially cleared. However, as a result of the last 6 months of therapy, my vertical balance is, as the doctor described it, extremely abnormal. Ha. That just made me laugh. Of course it is! So now, instead of therapy for positional vertigo, I'm doing vestibular rehabilitation to try and retrain my eyes/ears to understand my vertical head movements properly. Tell me that's not just crazy? :)

Oh...and here's a picture of our 4th of July 'attire.' I don't dress us alike often but I like to play on the holidays. :)

Until next week...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Goodnight - nice song

A friend shared this song with me and I really like it. For everyone who's lost a loved one...

<a href="">Goodnight by Matthew Smith</a>

Take care,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Week 7: Still Struggling

I wish I could say that I'm feeling hunky dory and all things are smooth as pie... but the reality is, week seven definitely left me still struggling. To spare repetition from the last post, I'm mainly having issues on the nausea/fatigue side. It's truly off and on all day long. It's much worse in the mornings and again after dinner. So right now, I'm not feeling so hot. BUT, I do have much to be grateful for and that's another blessed little life growing inside of me! :)

On the pregnancy front, not a great deal of new things going on this week. Which, in my opinion, is a fantastic thing this early in the pregnancy. Just trying to get over the sick hump. I keep praying it's a normal pregnancy and I only have 4 or so more weeks of this.

I did switch doctor's this week. I loved my OB (and staff) where I was with Benjamin. However, in the last year, they've gotten off the charts busy and big! I called because I needed to reschedule an appointment and they told me it'd be at least another month before they could get me in. If that was the first time it'd happened, it wouldn't be as big of a deal...but it's not. So after asking around and getting recommendations, I switched to an office just three miles further. I'm really excited about the change though. I'll actually have a certified nurse midwife to assist my doula with delivery. Also, the hospital where I'll be delivering is known for working very well with moms trying to have natural deliveries. Unless an unforeseen medical issue comes up, I do plan on attempting another natural delivery like I had with Benjamin. My first appointment is around 11 weeks so I'll be sure to keep you updated. Fun stuff! :)

The trip to W. KY this weekend went well overall. The sleeping situation was interesting but to my surprise, it wasn't the kids disturbing my sleep - it was the noisy neighbors!

I guess that's it for now... I need some rest!

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Week 6: Yuck and Yawn

So if I ever doubted I was pregnant, this week proved otherwise. Holy moly... I woke up at 6weeks, 1day both nauseous and tired... and it hasn't stopped. Well, that's a little over simplified. The nausea doesn't last allllll day, though it does last off and on a good part of it. Starts in the morning as soon as I wake and lasts until 10ish. Kicks back in around lunch. Wavers throughout the day and then settles in for good again right after dinner. Fortunately, I haven't physically gotten sick yet...I just feel like I will.

Then the fatigue... how do I forget that part? I'm sleeping around 9hrs each night and still so tired during the day. It's all I can do to stay alert and chipper enough to entertain and care for the kids. After dinner, I'm pretty much wiped out. Oh...and that's even when I get to nap when they do!

I praise God that these symptoms mean things are probably continuing in that belly of mine. Of course all of that is still in His hands.

This past weekend we got to enjoy a nice, fun and relaxing trip to West Baden, Indiana for an elder's/elder's wives retreat. That was great. The downside was that my BPPV (vertigo) was hitting me on top of the baby sickness so I was not without issues for sure. But still...over all it was wonderful.

I'll be traveling to Western Kentucky this weekend with the kids for my niece's bday party. It'll be good to see family but I'm really not looking forward to the 3hr drive (with all this sick feeling) or sleeping in the same room with both kids. Should prove entertaining for sure.

For now, that's all I have. I really need some sleep (surprise!) and it's not even 10p!

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Walgreens Deals

Somehow I forgot to post the last visit as well.... So here's today and last time! :)


Last visit:


Week 5 - Getting in the groove

So week 5 came and went pretty quickly. The week was a bit stressful because we lost our 2nd pregnancy during week 5. Obviously, we can lose a pregnancy at any given time but we had that particular fear hovering over us. By the end of the week, we felt a little relief.... until we got news that a friend of ours (who was likely due around the same time as me), DID miscarry. Our hearts broke for her and we continue to keep her and her family in our prayers. It's just a reminder that even if we are able to 'get pregnant easily,' we cannot guarantee anything. We have to trust in the sovereignty of our great God and believe that He is in full control.

Towards the end of week 5, I was suddenly slammed with fatigue. With my previous pregnancies, I remember being so tired and 9-10hrs of sleep a night still not being enough. I've felt that same pull for the last several days. I've been trying to get out of the house a bit more so that I'm not tempted to lay around and do nothing while the kids wonder what's wrong with me. Hannah has been particularly entertaining. She'll ask me what's wrong and I'll tell her that Mommy's just really tired. She then reminds me, "but it's not night-night time yet." Oh - how I know! Benjamin is in the process of dropping his morning nap which makes it tricky as well. He's in a bad mood by 10ish but if he naps, his afternoon nap is pretty much non-existent. So while I'm super-tired, I'm having to keep him awake! Oh...and did I mention he cut THREE teeth last week?! Yeah... and I wonder why he's been cranky? :)

Speaking of the kids... Benjamin started all-out walking last week. I posted a video in a separate post. He's officially on the move.

This weekend, James and I have the blessing of going on a super awesome retreat with the other elders (pastors) and their wives, of our church. We're SO excited! We leave early Friday morning and will be back Saturday afternoon. The kids will be with a capable babysitter during that time so pray for peace in their little hearts. :)

I woke up this morning feeling nauseous, not so fun. But I'm in week 6 now so I'll save that for the next post.

Until then...
Terra Santos

Monday, June 7, 2010

Week 4 - We're Pregnant!

Soooooooo..... unless you're on Facebook, you probably think I've fallen off the face of the planet. WELL, this post is to prove otherwise! :) Last Wednesday, I found out that we're expecting again! I waited a day to tell James so I could plot out how to best surprise him. You can check out my last post to see how (the picture Hannah made).

For those of you that have followed our blog for a while, you know that I've journaled/blogged all three of my previous pregnancies. Which brings us to a point of clarification, our second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage (see here and here for details).

This means, Lord-willing, I'm going to start my weekly pregnancy blog updates again. Aren't you so excited? :)

Right now, you can pray for our trust in God and His sovereignty. Because we lost our second baby, we always have the fear of that happening again. We've had dear friends lose many more than one and our hearts break for them. I've battled with some stomach cramping for several months now but when it greatly intensified the night I found out I was pregnant, it sent fear all through me. I've been to the doctor within the last month, had several ultrasounds and they've yet to figure out a problem so I'm hoping it's just digestive. there's the request.

We're starting to think of names again. All of the names I really like are the most popular ones in the country. Not that I'm totally against that but I'd rather have something a tiny bit different. We've obviously got some time to think about it though.

A few people have asked if we want another boy or another girl. Great question - as if we get to choose! :) We really don't have preferences as of now. In general, I'd love another laid back little baby like Benjamin was. But I can't promise that was the 'boy' in him for sure. The 'drama' of Hannah is a bit much but again, how do I know that's all 'girl' and not just all 'Hannah?' Hmmmm....

So I guess that's it for now! How's that for a blog update!?

Until next time and with much excitement,

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Another blessing on the way!

Most of you probably know by now but we're expecting again! By my most recent calculations, the expected due date is around February 7th, 2011. We're super excited and that means I'll *try* to start my pregnancy posts again like I did with the other kids. We'll be sure to keep you posted!

Take care,
Terra Santos

Monday, May 17, 2010

Walgreens Trip 5/17

I'm busy towards the end of this week so I thought I'd go ahead and make my Walgreens shopping trip.

Here are the goods:


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Lots of New Videos on the Way!!! I've finally gotten some videos and pictures updated! Starting tomorrow, you will see one new video per day if you check out the blog. :)

Today we celebrated a wonderful and beautiful Resurrection Day!!! Praise the Lord for Jesus Christ!

For now, Easter and other April pictures... Enjoy!

Take care,

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

More Pictures

I'm FINALLY uploading some more pictures. :)


Friday, February 26, 2010

Benjamin Rolling and Clapping

I can't believe he's almost one! Just two more months! Here are some videos of him rolling around the house (before he started army crawling) and clapping by request. :)

Take care,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Family Health Updates

Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to try to update you all with everything from the last month or so. I have several pictures and videos to upload, just not the time to do it right this minute. First, many of you have been asking about our health, here's the scoop.

Benjamin just finished another round of antibiotics for his 3rd back to back ear infection. Hopefully that is taken care of. We go back to the "helmet doctor" Wednesday and the "head doctor" the following week. It's possible he may only be in the helmet a few more weeks. We'll see what the docs have to say.

Hannah has the typical snotty nose. But when doesn't she? :) Other than that, she seems completely healthy now. Her post-op ear checkup was great. Thanks to the pneumonia, we now own a nebulizer.

James seems to be fairly healthy, though we recently learned he has high cholesterol. So we're working to lower that.

I have finished my first 3 BPPV treatments. I initally started with two positive ears and a negative center (positive is bad/negative is good). This last visit, I was positive on the left and center but no longer on the right. So in a sense, that's two steps forward, one step back. BUT, because I'm no longer positive in both ears, I can try some at-home therapy for the next 4 weeks instead of in office. I have exercises that will take about 20-30 min that I have to do twice a day. In four weeks, I go back to the office to see if I've made any further progress. This also means no neckbrace for at least four weeks! Pending no crazy dizzy spells of course. Whoo hoo!

So there you have it. Our funny/always sick family! We've hit 3 1/2 deductibles already this year. And we have a pretty hefty deductible. But God is good and He continues to provide! We praise the Lord it "seems" we're on the upward swing of sickness.

Until next time...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Family Updates

It's been a busy, busy year so far! In January alone, we counted 12 visits to some sort of doctor, hospital, surgery, etc. Whoa. Hannah got tubes and Benjamin got a helmet to round out his noggin. One week later, Hannah got a slight pneumonia and Benjamin got an ear infection. The fun continues....

BUT I also got a diagnosis for my biggest health issue! After 5/6mo of testing, I was diagnosed with BPPV. You can read my recent post on that for details... I had my first treatment this morning. Overall, not complicated. I'm a bit nauseous/lightheaded with a potential headache in the works...otherwise, okay. By God's grace, I have lots of wonderful friends/family helping us through it.

Benjamin had his 9mo well check the other day. He's just under 50th percentile for height (whoo hoo!) but just under 10th percentile for weight (despite the fact he eats all the time!). He's average with progress. Doc is not concerned that he's not crawling yet (cause he rolls all over the place). Hannah was not crawling at this age yet either. Overall, he appears to be in good health so that's a praise! The "helmet doctor," as we call him, said he may only have to wear the helmet for another 5 weeks. That's exciting. We'll see. It's really not that bad. Just a bit bulky and stinky (from where his head sweats). And it's a little harder to cuddle.... :)

Hannah is doing well. She loves to sing now and is enjoying learning new songs. She's very helpful and does a great job picking up when I ask her too. She's definitely a girl (and a child of mine) in that she can cry at the drop of a hat. That takes a bit of grace on my part for sure. She makes me laugh all during the day though so it brings sunshine into our home.

James is still working hard at Meijer. Nothing new and exciting to write about there. But we're grateful for the job. He continues to serve part-time as a corporate chaplain and he's now an official non-staff pastor at our church.

God is good and we are grateful! That's enough of an update for now. New videos coming tomorrow. New pictures on our flickr account:

Take care!