July 31, 2016

Preparing

Naptime Fun
These days at our house are full of preparations. Preparing for the new baby. Preparing for school. Preparing for life to change forever as we embark on the adventure of becoming a family of six and what that will mean.

The lists abound. We have lists of things to do before our baby comes; things to pack, things to remember, things to do immediately after he's here, and many more. Just as quickly as we are checking things off of our list, more things take their place. Some are as simple as chores that require more time than what we will have once our little one arrives, while others are projects that have to be completed or things that need to be purchased. So much has already been accomplished and the final big hurdle for us will be Evelyn's birthday parties before we can truly stop and breathe.

In the midst of the preparations, I'm trying to keep my chin up and pull through the rest of this pregnancy. I'm finding that so very hard to do as everything aches and things that used to be simple are ten times more difficult than they used to be. I know that this is a short time and that it will seem like a passing moment when I look back once our baby boy is here. While this pregnancy feels like it's gone by quickly simply due to the busyness of life, there are moments where it seems as though it will never end.

So many days, I wake up feeling as though I just need to get through the day. Just endure and get one day closer to delivering this boy and being able to move on with the rest of our lives. One day closer to being able to stand up or walk a flight of stairs without finding myself in utter misery. And yet even as my body aches from the cumulative effect of four pregnancies, I know that there are women who would kill to be in my shoes right now and that reminder puts me back in my place. It makes it easier to silence my complaints and remind myself that each day isn't something to simply "make it through," but a gift. Another day with my family, with my three children that are already here, another day to spend with my unborn son. It's something to be grateful for, not something to look at with dread, no matter how tempting.

So in the midst of these preparations and the abundance of lists, I'm trying to remember to be thankful. With only a few more weeks to go, these days are precious, even while they are challenging. I'm snuggling my babies a little extra and trying to make time to spend with each of them to feel special, knowing how my time will be monopolized shortly. And somehow, through it all, hopefully we'll find the time and energy to finish up those endless lists.

June 28, 2016

Meeting the Specialist

Baby Boy 3D This week has brought about one of our highly-anticipated baby appointments, the meeting with the perinatologist. Due to a thyroid condition that I wrote about here, we have had a little extra monitoring with my pregnancies to ensure that my body isn't causing any problems for baby. While all indicators so far had been full speed ahead, it's always a little nerve-wracking to go in for this kind of appointment, especially if you're armed with the knowledge of the myriad of things that could potentially go wrong.

We were fortunate enough to get an ultrasound technician who took her time looking all over baby's tiny body, taking detailed measurements, and even giving us a few souvenir 3D shots of our little boy's face (using my placenta as a built-in pillow). It was breathtaking to see his little body- especially his tiny heart- in such amazing detail.

Once the scan was done, we spoke with the specialist who, despite some confusion on when I was actually due to give birth, reassured us that baby is looking healthy, strong, and slightly big (which basically puts him on track for being about the same size as his brothers and sisters at birth). She did recommend that we have one more ultrasound next month, just as a precaution, to be certain that baby is still growing properly, but at the present, we really couldn't ask for any better results.

This little boy is healthy, strong, and developing a serious soccer kick that will be rivaling his brother's in short order. And with all the babies that are arriving to friends this summer, let's just say we are eagerly counting down the days until this little boy is in our arms too!

May 31, 2016

Boy or Girl?

Gender Reveal Party
Gender Reveal Party
Gender Reveal Party
Gender Reveal Party
In our house, we firmly believe that every baby should be celebrated. Since this baby is our fourth, we are pretty well-stocked in the baby gear department so we definitely didn't need a baby shower, but we still wanted to celebrate this little one with some of our closest family and friends! We had never done a gender reveal party before so we decided to go out with a bang with our fourth child.

After a bit of planning and a whole lot of excitement when Jonathan and I found out the results at our ultrasound earlier in the week, we were ready to reveal whether we would be adding a whole lot more pink or blue to our family. The grandmas cut the cake and the kids got to be the first to find out... that they are getting a baby brother (which was what they had their hearts set on from the very beginning)!

We are so excited to even up the numbers in our house in just a few more months! We are already counting the days... and so are the wee ones!

May 30, 2016

One More Time

Profile
Little Foot
So apparently we have a bit of catching-up to do in this little space, especially since this little one is getting closer and closer to making an appearance and I don't want to completely forget what it's been like to gestate this tiny person!

After Mary was born, we were pretty set on being a family of five. In fact, we were so certain of that fact that we made plans to make our decision permanent, but as the day grew closer and closer, I started to feel more and more unsettled with our choice. I saw our older two kids playing together so well and I realized how much more fun (and chaotic) our family would be with another child close in age to Mary. So after a lot of discussions and prayers, we cancelled our appointment and made the leap, hoping that we would be fortunate enough to get pregnant quickly.

God was so good. We were certain that we wouldn't get pregnant right away since things with Mary took a bit of trying, but on December 27th, just weeks after we had begun trying, we found out that we would be a family of six! It's going to be crazy around here in the fall... but we are embracing the chaos, one more time.

Welcome to the family, baby number four!

May 27, 2016

Last Day in Uniform

Last Day in Uniform Last Day in Uniform
We're already to the close of another school year. In just a handful of days, Nathaniel will be graduating from Kindergarten (complete with cap and gown and copious tears from his mother) and Evelyn will be done with preschool. It seems odd to be at the end of this era in our lives- with the older two both being in full-time school next fall, and yet at the same time, I find myself not wanting to rush through things and to embrace the luxury that summer will bring with it's sunshine and relaxed schedules.

Though we have big plans for summer break, we are awfully excited about how things have gone this year at school. Evelyn went from not knowing her letters to being able to read and spell small words. And my big almost-first-grader is reading at a solid second grade level, which means that spelling words discretely between Jonathan and I is now a thing of the past, especially anything that involves i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m.

It's been amazing watching these two learn and grow, but we're all looking forward to having them home this summer, none more so than Mary. She adores having them around and loves playing with them, even if they don't always embrace her style of playing/destroying their Lego houses. Nevertheless, we're pushing our way through the last few days- one more day each and the finale field trip of the year to the Child Mecca otherwise known as Nickelodeon Universe- and once it's all done, we'll be kicking back in the sunshine and running through the sprinkler for the next three months!