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Saturday, February 2, 2013

32 Weeks

Chalkboard created by Liv

At 32 weeks Baby is over 5 pounds just as Christian is turning 5 years old.
Baby has regular sleep cycles and definitely responds to sounds such as your families voices.
Baby's black and white nursery is all ready and waiting.
Victoria read books all over the house making sure they are 'appropriate' for Baby and tucked them on the bookshelf.

Dear Baby #3

Dear Baby,
Last week we really had a scare.  On Monday, everything in my body and mind was telling me something was wrong with you.  I rushed to the doctor unexpectedly.  While I was driving there I was sobbing thinking about how I didn't want you to come out yet.  Even though you're five pounds now, you would still be 8 weeks early.  That's not safe.   I went to the doctor to have four tests completed over 3 hours only to find out you are safe and sound and tucked up in my nice and warm womb.  What a relief!  Your brother had surgery the following day and the doc thought stress may have triggered the labor like symptoms.  Ever since he's been home from the hospital I've been feeling great.  After that scare I am really treasuring this pregnancy.

I love when Christian talks to you.  You usually start moving when he cuddles up to my belly and talks to you.  I think you two love each other already.  Daddy talks about you all the time and loves to feel you move too.  Victoria talks about all the things she's going to teach you.

Next Tuesday is Daddy and my wedding anniversary.  We're going to get the rest of the things needed for your arrival.  I'm going to get the hospital bag packed and choose a couple outfits for your arrival home.  Since I still don't know if you're a boy or a girl I'm going to find something super girlie and cutsie and something stylish and boyish.  I am so excited to meet you!  I think about touching your little face and holding you in my arms so many times a day!  I even dream about you often.  Every dream I've ever had about you when I wake up I can remember how happy I was to have you.  I love planning the way our life will be once you're introduced to the family.

Today my friends are throwing a Big Big Sister Shower for your sister.  We're so excited we can hardly stand it!  It's so exciting to have a party in your honor to celebrate your arrival.  You're getting so big you're maxing out my maternity clothes.  Everything is getting pretty tight.  Aunt Molly thinks you're going to weigh in at a good 8.5-9 pounds.  She actually knows if you're boy or girl.  Which means she already knows what your name is.  When she looks at you on an ultrasound I can tell she loves you already.  She loves your chubby cheeks and compares them to Christian's and your cute nose to Victoria's.

It's the beginning of February now.  Which means you'll arrive next month (unless you come really early).  Daddy looked up your birthstone last night and it will most likely be an aquamarine.  The other day I was at Target and diapers were on sale and I thought, "Why not?!"  And bought two huge boxes of Pampers.  Dragging those huge boxes into the house makes your arrival seem even closer!  Your nursery is ready for you.  Daddy did a great job.  I say less is more now, but I have a feeling once you arrive and I fall head over heels in love with you I'll be out shopping for accessories in no time flat.

I'm beginning to get things in order at school so I can stay home and care for you.  There's so much to do, it's overwhelming.  But when I think about feeing you and cuddling you and watching you and Christian together during the day while the house is quiet it makes me so happy.  It should be nice out when you arrive.  We'll walk to the park and go to the zoo.  Victoria will have to go to school for about 12 weeks after your arrival so it will just be you, Christian and me for a while.

Even though we're all very excited to meet you, stay put for at least another month.  Then you'll be strong and healthy when we meet.

I love you already,
Your Mommy

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Notes from V's Teacher

We are beyond blesses with Victoria's first grade teacher.  This girl is amazing.  Since I am actually friends with her I know she is good at everything she does.  She's a great friend, a fantastic wife and a truly amazing teacher.  She's great about telling me little stories from first grade and she compliments Victoria to me nearly every single day.

Here's a note she sent home a couple weeks ago:

What parent wouldn't love to receive this?!
 On her report card for quarter 2 in the comment section she wrote:
Victoria continues to excel in the skills that are being taught in first grade.  She does a wonderful job completing her work on time and does a quality job.  She is a great listener, is kind to her peers and continues to make great choices in first grade.  she does a wonderful job expressing her ideas and thoughts clearly and demonstrates great listening skills.  You can be proud of her, she continues to shine in first grade!

That little girl makes us so proud.
It's especially nice her teacher takes the time to let us know how well she's doing!

Blast from the Past

I have an obsession with pictures and picture frames.
I want all my pictures displayed.
Every. Single. One.
You're probably thinking, "Yeah, your house is full of pictures!"
No, no, no.  I'd have ten times the pictures if Mark would let me.
He not a fan of clutter.
Me however, it I would say I love it, but it I don't feel pictures are clutter.

What happens is I'll take some pictures down to decorate for Christmas, or a shower or whatever and I'll put them in a box.  Almost never does everything come back out from the box.  I'll put something different in its spot, possibly a new picture frame or something of the sort.
Then I end up with several boxes of pictures frames.  
I was decluttering the basement last week when I came across boxes and boxes of pictures and frames.
Some so old I don't think we ever even had them on display in this house.  We've lived here nearly 8 years.  Even though I know I can't put them back up I don't know what to do with the pictures.

Here are a couple Blasts from the Past that warm my heart but will never be on display again.
Mainly because moisture got in the frame and they stuck to the glass.

Mark and Jonathan in 2001 in our first apartment.
Jonnie came to spend the night.
He was four years old.
Even smaller than Christian is now.
Man, I loved that kid as my own.
Often times, Christian reminds me of Jonathan.
I loved how much Mark loved Jon and Jon loved Mark.
That's pretty much when I knew he'd be a good daddy
and it would be in my best interest to get married to him and create beautiful babies.

This one is from 1999.
My dad and I are in Hawaii.
I am 20 years old there.
Don't I look like a child???
If I didn't know for a fact the year and my age I wouldn't even believe it.
That was an amazing impromptu trip.
My dad loved me so much (that's not past tense - he actually still does) I wish I appreciated it more back then.  Now I can see his love all the time.  Especially when he's with my kids.
I love this picture of us!

Paint Your Plate

Several weeks ago Victoria and I snuck away for some girl time during the day.
We went to Paint Your Plate.  We hadn't been there in at least a year.  She was so different from last time we went with.  She had her own ideas, rather than me telling her what to paint and how to paint it. She had an idea of which brushes would work for the ideas she was trying to create.  She had more patience than I did when it came to letting the coats dry between color changes.  I was also starving and just a block from one of my favorite restaurants, the Uptowner.

She chose to paint a fish for her new room.

She is one serious artist.
I believe she's officially a better artist than me at age 6.

Just hanging out telling me one story after another while watching paint dry.

My masterpiece that looked very different in my vision.

Talking about what she'll choose next time.
She said we should go there at least once a month and twice this month because we hadn't been there in so long.
She loved it!

Finally we got to Uptowner.
She chose not to eat, she was on the upswing from her illness.
I got the amazing Uptowner Breakfast.
Which actually was a total of three meals.
She drew me quality pictures the entire time.
Love my Lil' Aritst!

Home Sick

A couple weeks ago both kids got sick.
Not simultaneously but one right after the other.
Here's the makeshift bed Victoria made for herself in our bedroom.
It's so sad to see kids sleeping next to a puke bucket. 
At least she's getting good at getting it in the toilet or bucket.

Here's Christian after he woke up.
He was so sick he didn't even want to walk.

Even though back to back sicknesses are no fun I'm always thankful it doesn't happen at the same time.

Hospital Tour in Pictures

As I mentioned a few weeks ago Mark and I registered (barely - do 9 items really count??)
before our hospital tour.
For some reason I never added the pics.
I love Stork Parking.
Expectant Mothers get front row parking.
I love it!

That's how we announced our pregnancy on Facebook.
Me with a picture of the sign.
As you can see, I no longer need the sign to let people know we're expecting.

Registering for the spectacular stroller
that has so many upgrades since we were given a carseat/stroller combo.

Mark's trying out the chair that we ended up getting.


I want this license plate.
Ok, I don't really.
But I do want a peaceful and successful water birth.

Baby's chair at home!
Have I mentioned I love this chair??

At the hospital Mark had to locate the cafeteria and vending machines.
As long as he's not actually there while I'm in labor I'm cool with whatever and however much he wants to eat!

One step closer to being prepared for baby.

Day 3

Today is Day 3 after the surgery.  Every doctor, surgeon and nurse says Day 3 is the worst.  I still remember Day 3 from 2010.  They weren't kidding.  He slept through the night, except to be woke for his pain meds.  He woke at 5:30 screaming, "MY THROAT!!!!!"  He didn't want to take his medicine because he didn't want to swallow.  Eventually, I convinced him it would help.  He said it was too sore for a popsicle.  I reminded him Dr. Stang said you have to drink even if you don't want to.  So I agreed the popsicle could be eaten in the living room while we watched cartoons.  He's back to whispering.  He holding his throat and mouth while sitting here.  Today is going to be very different from yesterday. I'm already looking forward to Day 4.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Christian's Third Surgery

Yesterday Christian had his tonsils removed at Children's hospital only 19 days after his consultation.
We arrived at the hospital at 7:00am on the very slippery morning of January 29th, just a day after his 5th birthday.

He wasn't as nervous as one would expect.
Nurse Natalie was amazing at getting him to relax.
He loved his hospital jammies.

About 30 minutes before surgery.

Many toys to keep him busy before check in.

It's show time!
This time they wouldn't let me walk him into surgery due to the pregnancy.
I guess they didn't want to pick me up off the floor after watching him be put under.
Mark got to take him in this time.
It's never an easy thing to do.

The actual surgery began at 8:51am and by 9:40 Dr. Karlen was out and telling us how 'huge' his tonsils were and how well everything went.
We were brought to Christian about 20 minutes later after he woke in recovery.
He was eating a popsicle and could only whisper.
He whispered, "You said you'd stay with me the whole time!"
I didn't think he'd remember waking up so clearly.

Here he is in his room.
Still pretty drugged up and has an IV in his left arm.  He was very glad to see Blue and Teddy.
His red lips are from his Bomb Pops.

There was no way he was taking a nap.
He slowly woke up more and more.

He had a total of 11 popsicles while we were there.
He was doing so well they discharged him at 2:45pm even though we expected to spend the night.
What a relief!  That room was so small we could barely move.
Although, Christian didn't want to leave.

On the way home, finally ready for a nap....

Lights out, for a whopping 20 minutes.

(Oops out of order)
He couldn't feed himself because he's left handed and his arm had a brace on it taped with the IV so Mark fed him Mac N Cheese and pudding.

When we got home he was raring to go!
Mommy, however, was exhausted!
He built a bank with Daddy.

Can you find my missing tonsils?!

He loves to show off his IV bruise and he'll tell you all about the tube that was under his skin.

Then we used the ice cream maker Mama and Papa gave him for his bday.
Who doesn't whip up their own vanilla ice cream upon arriving home from the hospital?

After worrying about this surgery for weeks he handled it way better than anyone expected.
The nurse said he's the best patient she's had in days and days.
I am relieved that the biggest problem we're having is keeping him settled down.
I expected him to be whiney and crying all day.
He grabs his own popsicle when needed, has no trouble downing his pain medications and is just loving the attention.

Day three is always the worst with the recovery, as it was with his adenoidectomy.
Hoping tomorrow is as smooth as today was with a lot more sleep tonight.
Three surgeries in his first five years.
Hopefully his last. 

A Thank You

After watching Barney at 3am, building a 'doghouse', painting it, baking cookies and brownies, vacuuming the living room, watching one short episode of Mickey Mouse, read Genesis in the children's Bible, took a bath, had a visitor bring a gift, ate a brownie and asked no less than 20 times, "What else is calm that I can do?!"  

I was feeling like his personal servant.  

Then Mark went to work, Therese left and Christian and I cuddled up to watch a Scooby Doo episode. He leaned in really close to kiss my arm and then my lips and looked right into my eyes and said, "I could kiss you all day long."

If that's not a heart - felt thank you, I don't know what else is.  I'm blessed to get to stay home to care for him for these days.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Christian's Real Birthday

January 28th is one of my favorite days of the year.  I think about it for three months before the big day.

Today my son turned 5.  It was bittersweet knowing the surgery is looming tomorrow morning which made me want to make it even more special.  I took a half day today to make sure Christian is eating and drinking as much as possible (since now he's officially cut off and won't eat for several days) and I wanted to make a couple hours of his birthday fun and special plus I had preparations for the surgery since we'll be spending at least one night there.

I'll blog later about the fun stuff of the day, however, today I felt some pretty serious pressure and had some leakage.  I called the doc from Chuck E Cheese for them to tell me to get there ASAP.  Everything changed.  I had to get the kids in the car and back to their daycares and headed straight to the doc office while sobbing uncontrolably to Liv.  Nearly three hours at the office, 4 tests, one cervix check and lots of my mind running wild with What Ifs to find out cervix is completely closed, the discharge is just that and not an infection or amniotic fluid.  As I stood up relieved beyond belief she said, "Carry on!"  That was after she was in the middle of a test literally inside of me and she starts hounding me about being under too much stress.  So after this week I vow to slow down everything and try to get all this stress under control.  I just have to make it through the next several days of surgery and recovery.  My mantra for tomorrow is It's Just Tonsils, It's Just Tonsils.

Hopefully I'll blog all the good stuff from his birthday while he sleeps peacefully in his hospital bed.  I'll get him many get well balloons to make up for the Spiderman birthday balloons I never got to purchase today.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Christian's 5th Birthday Party

We had Christian's Birthday Party last weekend at Water Park of America.  I think it may possibly be his favorite place on Earth.  We stayed two nights and had friends stay over at the hotel each night.

Victoria and Christian with his BFF Rosie.
He stretched his arm extra far so he could touch Rosie in the pic.

After it was all said and done I asked him what his very favorite part of the weekend was and he said,
"Decorating the hotel room!"
There you have it.  .99 cre paper and a bag of balloons and a roll of tape.

Mark and Baby Grace.
Gosh, she's so darn cute!
I didn't mind cuddling her up for hours on Saturday.

Christian and his buddy Tyler.
Those two get along so well!

Burnsie with Baby Grace.
Who can keep their hands off a chubber wubber baby?!

Mark and the boys enjoying the Lazy River.
I could have stayed on it all day long.
It took the pressure off everything in my body.
I was instantly in such a good mood when I was in there!

Baby Gracie all tuckered out.
Isn't she an angel?

Stoppin' for a snack.
We brought fruits and veggies this time.
Thank goodness, the kids get so hungry when they're swimming all day.

Lil' Ms. Emilee hangin' in the wading pool

We had a one hour party where we had lunch together.

And he opened his gifts.

He enjoys Spiderman these days!

I love this picture of V and Grace.
Poor Gracie is thinking, "Really?!  Put that camera down!" 

Uncle Wayne and the Birthday Boy!

Baby Grace and her favorite Godmother;-)

Victoria and Marissa

After pizza and cupcakes for the kids we had cake and cupcakes for everyone.
That frosting was a mess, but they loved it!

Of course, Mama and Papa were there to celebrate the birth of their one and only grandson
(for now at least).

Christian playing with his buddies Max and Brady.
These three get along so well.

The Birthday Boy and his happy Momma!

Look Who's (Almost) 5!

Trying out the his new Monster Truck in the hotel hallway.

It was a wild and crazy weekend - 
but we all loved every second of it.

Tomorrow is the real big day!
Looking forward to it!