Monday, December 28, 2009

Still here!

Button and I are still here! I'm so glad to be done with Christmas and now I can just focus on getting ready for the baby. I got my hair cut, washed all the receiving blankets, sleepers, spit-up cloths, etc., and moved the changing table and co-sleeper to our room and now it's finally beginning to feel like a baby will be here soon.

The kids are getting excited and even Gustin understands to some extent. We talk about the "baby in Mommy's tummy" all the time. I know Gustin can't possibly understand how much his little world is going to change once the baby arrives, but he definitely senses the change coming. Just over the last few weeks he has started baby talking and wants to be held much more. I have to say, I do indulge him when he asks for cuddles. I want to savor that time with him, too.

I had another check up today. I'm now dilated at 3 cm, but other than that there hasn't been any major changes. I'm having a few contractions, but nothing like what I've had in the days immediately preceding birth of my other babies. So, we're taking it easy around here, relaxing, anticipating baby but not getting overly anxious yet. I'm still thinking it will be January before Button makes his or her debut. But, one thing I know for sure about babies is that you have to be ready for anything. Who knows, Button may come tomorrow or may even break the mold and actually go overdue. We'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I just got back from my OB appointment. Nothing has really changed since my last visit, which isn't surprising since I haven't had all that many contractions. The good news is that my Group B strep test came back negative, so I won't have to schedule an induction! Hurray! Button will get to come on his or her own time. We might actually make it to January after all, which would be my preference. Fabulous!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

37 week OB check up

So, here are the stats:

2 cm dilated
60% effaced
baby's head at zero station

The doctor remarked that the baby's head is really low, as in if this was my first child, he would expect me to be in labor by tomorrow. But, since it's my fourth, he thinks I'll probably just carry low from here on and deliver at a time similar to my other pregnancies (I average about a week early).

After today's check up, the fact that Button will be here soon just got much more real. I'm starting to get excited!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Reflections on pregnancy #4

I'm at almost 37 weeks gestation now and Button will be here before we know it. For various reasons, I don't believe my body nor my doctor will allow Button to wait until the due date (January 8th). I'm fully expecting a new baby in our house before the end of the year. So, I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect over this fourth pregnancy that will soon come to an end.

This pregnancy has been very different than any of my others. But, I guess that is the norm. Just like every child is unique, their individual journeys into this world are different. For starters, this pregnancy has gone be very quickly. I might not have agreed with that statement in the early weeks of nausea and exhaustion, but it is true. Life has been very busy since we first found out about Button last May. Most of the busyness could be considered normal for a family of 5, but then we added selling a house, a move and a massive bedbug infestation. Our days and weeks have been very full, especially lately with all the holiday preparations thrown into the mix.

I've also been much more fatigued this pregnancy. The first trimester exhaustion has continued throughout the entire pregnancy. Looking back, I think I really should have talked to my doctor about it because at times the fatigue really has been extreme. Maybe I've been dealing with low iron or some other condition that the doctor could have helped alleviate. Instead, I got frustrated and upset with myself for how unproductive I have been when in reality I just wasn't physically capable of anything more. I need to learn when to say "uncle".

So, with all the busyness and fatigue, I feel like I have done very little preparation for Button. I've hardly been able to anticipate and ponder this new little one. I've put much less time and energy than normal into picking out names (which still isn't done), prepping baby supplies or just imagining what it will be like to hold a newborn once again. If you walked into my house right now, you would see virtually no evidence that a new little one is expected soon. That's so different than when I was expecting my first when practically everything was ready (including diapers and wipes bought and little sleepers hanging in the closet) months before Jonathan was born. I feel like Button has been cheated a little.

Finally, I have found myself much less tolerant this time around. That is, less tolerant of other people's opinions of when the baby will be born, what the gender will be, if I'm carrying high or low or if my belly is extremely large or surprisingly small for my number of weeks gestation. I smile and reply kindly, but sometimes I have to almost physically bite my tongue. The worst is some family members who repeatedly explain to me the exact date that will be most convenient for them for the baby to be born. Personally, I want Button to arrive exactly when God wills it, not a moment sooner or later regardless of the date on the calendar. I'm generally a patient person, but with crazy hormones, excessive fatigue, and feeling like everyone is rushing Button's arrival that I'm not ready for, that patience is being sorely tested.

Please pray for me. Pray that we have a peaceful Christmas, a healthy and safe delivery and a joyful experience of welcoming our newest little one into the world. Please pray that other people will be considerate of me, my needs, and my desires for Button's birth and that I can be calm, relaxed and patient. We have so much to be thankful for this Christmas season and I don't want to lose sight of that.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Deep thought for the day

You know how airplane bathrooms have the little sign on the door that says, "Occupied" or "Not Occupied"? Well, I think someone needs to invent on automatic sign to put on home bathroom doors that says, "Stinky" or "Not Stinky".

I'm just sayin'.

A girl needs some warning.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Love this shot and just had to share

Taken at my in-laws house over Thanksgiving. One last lonely butterfly.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The great snow event of 2009

Last Friday was the earliest snowfall in the Houston area in recorded history and also the first time that there has been snowfall two years in a row. This snow event was greatly anticipated around here and I felt all giddy when the first flakes began to fall Friday morning.

"See, Mama. There's snow...right...there!"

We had light flurries off and on all day and then just as the kids got out of school we had about 45 minutes of real snowfall. So much fun!

This is his "I'm too cool for the camera" face.

Look at those nice, straight permanent teeth with no underbite! He just got his top expander out.

Enough accumulated in that 45 minutes for the kids to each make a small snowball and by about an hour later, all of it had melted.

See the little ledge on the fence. That's about the only spot where snow accumulated.

Snow, thanks for coming for a short visit. You sure were fun while you lasted!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Poor Gustin

Gustin was sick and throwing up for most of the night last night. Poor baby. It's so hard to watch your kids suffer.

It's a little scary, too. My kids don't throw up often (their ailments usually involve snot, coughing and breathing treatments or maybe a mysterious rash or two). In fact, I can only remember two other incidents during my career as a parent when we had puking kiddos. Once was when Elizabeth was not even 6 weeks old and she ended up in the hospital for 6 days. The other was when Gustin was about 7 months old and he didn't stop throwing up for more than a month and ended up being hospitalized as well.

So, this time around, I'm really hoping for just a "normal" stomach bug!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Yes, we did...

...have a fantastic Thanksgiving celebrating with family. Can you tell?

I think the kids spent 90% of the day outside. Gotta love it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Did he really just say that?

Gustin: Mommy! I want do laundry.

Gotta love that kid!

Friday, November 20, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 7)


Jonathan had a pack meeting last night (for all the cub scouts from 1st to 5th grade). They are always fun and we always go as a family. Last night the Bears (3rd graders) were receiving recognition for earning the right to carry a pocket knife. They had completed all the requirements for learning the proper use, care and safety of their knives and as the cub master passed out their recognition, he reminded them that improper use of their knives would lead to them losing the right to carry them. He finished his little speech with, "Because a knife is not a toy, it is a..."

All the boys, of every age, yelled in one voice, "Weapon!!"

I don't think that is what the cub master was looking for!


We have our married couples group meeting at church tonight and I'm signed up to bring dessert. My plans are to make chocolate glazed pumpkin cookies and an apple-cinnamon bundt cake. My house is going to smell fantastic today!


We finally have Gustin understanding the concept of "first...then." As in, "First you eat your supper, then you can have dessert" or "First you brush your teeth and then I'll read you a story." He's a reluctant eater in the morning and sometimes his breakfast can span over an hour. But, this morning I told him, "First you eat your breakfast and then you can watch Blue's Clues." His breakfast was done in five minutes! Fantastic!

And, no, I don't consider it bribery. I'm just teaching him the positive consequences of obedience. ;)


Eric and I are both complete nerds. When I was pregnant with Jonathan, I remember telling people that he was either doomed to be a nerd as well or he would be a more artistic type and we'd never be able to relate. Well, Jonathan is definitely displaying some nerdy tendencies. He only wants me to check out science books for him at the library, he loves studying You Tube videos of Rube Goldbergs and then trying to build his own, he can spend hours taking apart and putting back together an old dead bolt lock, and just last weekend he and Eric kept stealing from each other a book on how the medieval cathedrals were built. It's so fun to watch his mind work!


When I say Eric is a nerd, I mean he is a serious nerd. He taught himself calculus and astrophysics as a teenager long before taking any classes on the subject. His mom (who herself is a more creative type) always talks of what an amazing journey Eric took them all on when he was a kid. He had interests in things that she had never even heard about, and though she didn't understand most of it, she always encouraged him in his pursuits. I hope to emulate Eric's mom with my own children. Regardless of what their skills and aptitudes are, I want to nurture them. No matter what talents God has given my children, I know they will each take me on an amazing adventure to places that I have probably never dreamed of going.


Though I almost have our Christmas cards done, I have barely begun shopping for gifts. I really need to get on top of this since it's just getting physically harder to do things as my belly grows, my ankles swell, and my energy levels drop. Also, the baby is due a mere two weeks after Christmas and my babies have a historically come a week to a week and a half early. I am one of the few moms who actually hopes that my baby will be born later instead of earlier!


The other day I came across a recipe for homemade egg nog. I don't know why, but it has never occurred to me that egg nog is something that someone could actually make. I guess I thought the egg nog at the grocery store came from egg nog producing cows or something. But, I'm now so excited about the idea of making my own and can't wait to try it this holiday season (minus the brandy, of course)!

Be sure to head over to Conversion Diary for more posts for 7 Quick Takes Friday!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Subliminal message

Last weekend we took our family picture for our Christmas cards. (The pics from the previous post are outtakes from that brief photo session.) I'm trying to get our cards out early because I haven't sent out a change of address to our friends and family since our move and I thought I would combine the two. I ordered our photo Christmas cards online on Saturday and they arrived in the mail a couple of days ago. Now I just need to write our Christmas letter and address and stuff and they'll be ready to go out next week.

When I received the cards in the mail, I opened them up to make sure there weren't any typos/mistakes/etc. It was only then that I really took note of the scripture verse on the card. When I ordered the cards, I picked the first religious themed template that looked nice with our family photo and went with it. So what was the quotation?

"For unto us a child is born..."

Do you think people will notice the double meaning? We are anticipating two births this Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A quick snapshot by Elizabeth

Can you tell I'm bigger than last time?

32 weeks!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Elizabeth's homework

Write one sentence using the word "my".

Elizabeth: My mom is fat.

Affectionately and largely yours (31 weeks, 4 days and counting!),

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Speaking of Gustin's sense of humor...

Gustin: I want drink that.
Me: No, you can't drink my water because I'm sick.
Gustin: I want sick!
Me: No, you don't want sick. Do you want me to get you some water?
Gustin: No way! I want sick.
Me: No you don't. Sick is yucky.
Gustin: No, not yucky. I like sick.
Me: You silly boy! You don't like sick. Sick is no fun. Do you want some milk?
Gustin: No, I want sick. I like sick. I love sick! I want sick in cup!

Friday, November 6, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 6)


Gustin is old enough now that his sense of humor is really starting to shine. He purposefully does things to make us laugh. His latest comic invention is a nickname for me; he's taken to calling me "Mom-oh". It cracks me up every time.

"Okay, Mom-oh."
"I know it, Mom-oh."
"Pretty please, Mom-oh?"
"No way, Mom-oh!"

Yes, even the cutely defiant "No way, Mom-oh!" gets me rolling. It's so hard to be stern and to correct misbehavior when inside your laughing you head off!


I've had a cold for most of this week. Luckily no one else in the house is sick and I've thanked God many times that it isn't the flu. But, for me at least, colds seem to be more severe and last about three times as long when I'm pregnant. Has anyone else had the same experience?


I'm so excited that we are getting to take the kids to a local children's production of Alice in Wonderland tonight. It's a musical and the 9 year old daughter of one of our friends is in it. The best part is that tickets cost only $5 each and the theater is only 10 minutes away! We need to do this with the kids more often! I just hope all my coughing and sneezing isn't too much of a disruption...


I've always loved going to plays and musicals and in college I was part of the Opera and Performing Arts Society. Our group sponsored broadway plays, musicals and operas to come to campus and we did all of the ushering, ticket taking, etc. Basically, after doing a small amount of work we got to watch all the shows for free! I saw Les Miserables, Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon, Damn Yankees and so many other amazing performances. Fun times and good memories!


We found two more live bedbugs in the boys' room this week. They were even so bold as to be out in the open in the daylight! Grrrr.... These defiant little suckers just won't die!!


Who will admit to stealing candy from their kids' halloween stash? *raising hand in the air*


Do you ever find yourself just staring at your children? I do it all the time. Their features are so precious and their skin is so perfect and their expressions are so charming, I just want to take it all in and burn it in my memory forever. I'm so smitten by them! The Good Lord has blessed me so abundantly.

Have a great weekend everyone! And, be sure to click over to Conversion Diary where Jen is hosting 7 Quick Takes Friday!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What do you do?

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you are going to drown in all the little things?

I have to say, overall life is very good in our household. We are all healthy, Eric is secure and happy at his job, we have a wonderful new home, the fall weather is fantastic, our kids are happy and doing well at school and we have the blessing of a new baby on the way.

So, why do I feel like all I want to do is cry right now? It's because of all those pesky little things. You know, all those little jobs and annoyances that crop up throughout our day. Well, lately it feels like there is an awful lot of them. Things such as bedbugs, mountains of laundry, dogs who suddenly decide that the best and only place to potty is on the playroom carpet, two year olds who seem to agree with the dog, pregnancy fatigue, husbands working overtime, bathrooms that haven't been properly cleaned since who knows when, unfounded fears about the baby's delivery, Christmas coming so quickly, bad dreams (both me and my five year old), the list seems to go on and on.

None of these things are major or particularly out of the ordinary. They are just all happening at once and my tired mind and body are feeling overwhelmed.

So, I'm asking for a little help. What do you do when all the little things get out of control? How do you get back on track when time and energy seem to be so limited?

I'd love a few tips or even just a few encouraging words and prayers. Or maybe I'll just go let myself have that cry...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Me at 29 weeks

I've been meaning to capture of few pictures of myself this pregnancy. Somehow I didn't seem to get very many of the last three pregnancies except for one or two at the very end when I was huge and my face was all swollen. Sweet Shannon encouraged me to post one the other day and that was just the extra little nudge I needed to actually get it done. So, I grabbed my camera and snapped a self portrait just as I was.

I have to say, I don't recommend taking a self portrait when you're wearing old clothes, no make-up and your hair is in a sloppy pony tail. That's why out of the couple dozen pictures I took, I chose to post the one with the camera in front of my face. This is, though, the normal everyday me. As you can tell, being a stay-at-home mom is very glamorous. :)

I snapped another one this morning after church. At least in this one I'm neat and tidy. I love this maternity dress. You can't see the details on the front because of my arm and the camera, but it's really cute and I love wearing it. I also love any excuse to wear my boots!

(By the way, with these boots on I'm about 6'2" or 6'3". Believe me, a 6'+ tall pregnant woman tends to stick out in a crowd! Thankfully, I've finally gotten over being self-conscious about my height. It only took 30 years!)

I really intended to show my face in this shot, but I couldn't get my camera to focus properly without looking through the viewfinder. I even had make-up on and everything!

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! We sure did!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Picture of the day: Elizabeth's Kindergarten artwork

Aren't these drawings so adorable and happy!? I just love how her arms are joyfully up in the air.

My little girl loves school!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Small Successes Vol. 3

1. I went with the family on a cub scout camp out this weekend and survived! I slept on the ground in a tent and everything (well, on an air mattress on the ground in a tent). The weather was gorgeous and we were at a lovely state park and it was actually an awesome weekend. And, since it's difficult for my 28+ week pregnant self to bend over and do things on the ground (like changing diapers), Eric took over diaper duty for the entire weekend. Nice!

2. I got a bit more organizing done! The time I tackled my wrapping paper. Here's my old storage method:

An old, holey, plastic shopping bag shoved in the back of a closet. This has been how I've organized my gift wrapping supplies for years!

And, here's the new and improved version:

I think I spent a total of $15 at the Container Store and it was worth every penny.

3. I've been making it a priority to take the time to enjoy the moment with each of my kids, especially before the arrival of the new baby. Here's how Elizabeth and I spent part of the glorious (and chilly!) Saturday morning at the camp out.

Playing with our shadows!

Be sure to go to Faith & Family Live to read more Small Successes! Enjoy your Thursday!