Archive for April, 2012

Am I the only one who has a hard time when it’s time to send your grandparents a gift?  All the grandparents I have to find gifts for already seem to have everything, so it’s a challenge.  I’ve found that the best gifts to get are ones with sentimental value.  That usually means something that has the kids’ pictures or footprints or handprints or something on them.  The grandparents may not need another coffee mug, but they love it if it has a picture of their grandkids on it!  They may not need another T-shirt, but they’d never turn down one that brags about their “grandma/grandpa status” on it!

Only 6 more weeks until this little guy is full-term (9 before his due date)!  For awhile, I was worried I wouldn’t have 6+ more weeks before he made his appearance.  I’ve been having a lot of contractions (sometimes I would have them about 10 minutes apart for several hours before they would taper off) accompanied by pressure.  I was almost 100% sure I was dilated at least a few centimeters, so I begged to be checked at my appointment this week.  The midwife I was seeing because my doctor was out of town didn’t seem to want to check me, but I insisted and I’m really glad I did.  I’m not dilated at all, so it takes a huge weight off my mind.  I feel like I don’t have to pay as much attention to the contractions and I don’t have to freak out and start watching the clock every time I have one.  I also had a test done to check for a hormone that is released before labor and the test was negative, which means I have at least 2 more weeks (hopefully lots more) before I go into labor.

I also have more reason to think this little boy is going to be big.  At my 28 week appointment, my fundal height was 29 cm (1 cm big).  At my 30-week appointment, it measured 32 cm.  Yikes!  My one consolation is that I was actually 30.5 weeks at that appointment….so really it was only 1.5 cm big.  Still.  Yikes!

Aside from that, I am just really uncomfortable!  This little guy is way up in ribs (I think it’s his head and feet…I think he might be breech right now) which makes sitting really uncomfortable!  Too bad laser treatment for back pain won’t help with this….my back hurts more often than not.  I’m also still getting muscle knots around my belly button some days, but luckily it isn’t as bad and it isn’t every day the way it was before.  It will all be worth it in the end, though!

P.S. I do have more recent belly pictures.  But I haven’t had time to edit and upload them yet.  Maybe around week 34 or so?  I’m always so behind, it’s pathetic.  At least I have them though….that’s what counts right?

Last winter, we finally got a piano!  It was something we had been on the lookout for, but we did not want to pay full-price for a brand new one.  Finally, we found one we liked on Craigslist and we were able to get it for a reasonable price.  And best of all, it even fit it in my van and we didn’t have to beg someone with a pickup truck to help us move it!

Having a piano was very important to us because we want to be able to expose our kids to music education.  I’ve played the piano since I was about 7 years old and I’ve gotten rusty in the last few years with no piano, but at some point I hope to make practicing more of a priority.  But even in my rusty state, I’ve been able to help Chad learn piano basics (he’s taught himself a lot with the lessons books I bought, though) and I’ll be starting Ava on piano lessons in the next couple of years or so.  It’s such a blessing to be able to teach the kids myself rather than paying for piano lessons!

When we went to get Ava’s bike for her birthday, we decided to get one for Kelvin too.  We knew that if Ava is riding her bike a lot this summer, Kelvin would not want to be left out!  We waited until the day after her birthday and then we surprised him with it.  Please overlook the fact that he had been upstairs painting his nails and couldn’t get on his bike until they dried completely.  Oh boy.  That’s a subject for a different post.  Luckily stuff like that doesn’t show up on background checks…it’s just immortalized forever in my videos and on my blog! LOL

After they each had their own bikes, they had a blast riding around our downstairs for a couple days.

After a few days, though, we decided the bikes had to go outside so we took them to a parking lot to practice. They were not happy when we got home and they realized the bikes had to live in the garage and only be ridden outside from then on!

This year for Ava’s birthday, she chose a Hello Kitty theme.  I’ll admit, I don’t love Hello Kitty so I wasn’t very excited about it, but since we were going for a less extravagant party this year it worked out well.  She loved it as much as she loved her Tangled party, and I spent a fraction of the time and money on it!

My grandparents were here from Wisconsin, so she got her gift from them in the morning instead of waiting until her party.  It works best for us to spread the gifts out a bit so she can focus more on each gift.  This year, she got a Bitty Baby and she loves it.  I have a feeling she’ll be playing with it even more once our real baby comes in June!  Although, she did tell me that we don’t need to have our real baby anymore because she already has her little sister (her Bitty Baby). 🙂

Here is my FIVE-year-old posing before her party:

Getting a happy birthday hug from her little brother:

The decorations:

We had the party around dinner time and we served make-your-own mini pizzas.  I was a little nervous about how it would go cooking pizzas for lots of people at the same time, but not everyone showed up at the same time, so it went really well.  It was also nice that people staggered their arrivals, because everyone could eat at the dining room table instead of having to pull out our rustic bar stools and having people eat in the kitchen too.

For the cake, I ordered a Hello Kitty cake pan from Amazon, and I loved how it turned out.  It was so easy and didn’t take a ton of time to decorate.  I tend to get frustrated with cakes, so this was perfect for me…and best of all, Ava loved it!

I also made cupcakes:

After cake, we did a Pin The Bow on Hello Kitty game and a pinata.  Unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs outside so we had to the pinata inside.

Then it was present time!!

This year, we decided to get Ava a bike.  She was thrilled!  (Side note: We also got one for Kelvin. I’ll be posting his reaction in a different post.  It was hilarious!)

And the birthday girl with all of her party guests:

I don’t have any new belly pictures to share right now…well, actually that’s a lie.  I do, but they aren’t uploaded yet and you know me and uploading pictures.  It happens maybe once or twice a month.  But I thought I’d do a quick update post.

At my last appointment (28 weeks), my fundal height was measuring 29 weeks.  Not a cause for concern, obviously, since it was only slightly big, but still…it makes me wonder if we’re in for a big baby.  I hope not!

I’ve been having tons of contractions and pressure too.  Some days, I’m a few contractions away from heading to Labor & Delivery, but then they slow down again so I don’t.  I am going to ask to be checked at my next appointment (a week from today) to make sure these contractions aren’t causing any dilation.  I wouldn’t be so concerned if I wasn’t having pressure with some of them, but I have been.  Hopefully Baby is planning on continuing to bake well into June, because I am nowhere near ready for him to make his appearance!  I guess in one way I am, because this pregnancy feels like it’s taken forever.  But in every other way, I’m not!  I haven’t gotten any of the baby gear from my mom yet, I haven’t washed and sorted the cloth diapers, I haven’t gotten out and washed the sleepers, I haven’t finished knitting the shorties/longies/hats I wanted to have done, I haven’t made all the meals I wanted to make for the freezer, and the list goes on and on.

One thing I’ve had this pregnancy that I’ve never experienced with the other two is muscle knots around my belly button.  At first, I thought I was getting a hernia because I had constant burning pain in a 6-inch radius around my belly button.  But then I realized I could feel muscle knots around my belly button that were causing the pain.  I’ve had them for about a week now and they’re soooooo painful!  No one can touch my belly, and if I happen to bump it accidentally, it hurts like crazy.

We’re going up to Wisconsin next week and I’m a little scared of how miserable I’ll be with my allergies.  According to allergy information , allergy season is in full swing up there and I won’t be able to take my trusty Claritin.  Luckily, I was able to get some Similasan for free with coupons and sales, so I’m hoping that will be effective.  It’s homeopathic and all natural and says you can use it on infants and toddlers, so I’m pretty much certain it should be fine for me to use while pregnant.  Fingers crossed that it helps!

Okay, that’s enough complaining.  I really am excited and grateful to be pregnant again…but sometimes I need to whine about how UNCOMFORTABLE I am all the time!

Today is a day I’ve been dreading for awhile.  Today was my due date for the baby I miscarried last summer.  Actually, though, today hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be….mainly because I’ve been busy with other things that have kept me distracted.  But the whole last month has been rough because I kept thinking about how we would be anticipating the baby’s arrival and wondering when it would make its grand entrance.  If only things had been different.

I feel a little guilty feeling this way, since I’m 6 months pregnant right now.  I guess I kind of expected this baby to “replace” the one we lost.  I wouldn’t have said it quite like that, but that’s how I felt.  And of course, knowing that we’re having another baby soon makes it much more bearable…I can’t imagine what I’d be feeling today if I wasn’t already pregnant again.  It wouldn’t be pretty!

I found this description of a “rainbow baby” and I think it describes the little guy we get to meet in June perfectly!

“Rainbow Babies” is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.


Even though I’m thrilled that we have another one on the way, it doesn’t mean I don’t still think about what might have been and wonder if that baby would have been a boy or girl, what it would have looked like, and what its personality would have been like.

I don’t have any more words or any cute way to wrap up this post, so I’ll do it with this song.  I found it a few weeks ago and I love it.  I wish I would have found it back when I had the miscarriage and I was really struggling.



This last winter, a friend invited us to go to Union Station in Kansas City with them for a day trip.  It was so much fun and definitely worth the drive.  In fact, while my grandparents were here a couple weeks ago, we went back and took them with us.  There are several fun things to do where we live, but for most of the “really cool” things (and for great shopping, such as for plus size wedding gowns ), we have to go to Kansas City.

Here are some of the highlights from our first trip to Union Station.

In a corner of the model train area, there was an area for the kids to build their own train tracks.

The kids and their friend Jonathan

There is a big train engine for the kids to climb up and play in.  It even turns on and makes real train noises and vibrations.

Playing with blocks

Playing in the water table.

Mug shots.  Someone is showing a bit of rebellious side, huh?

Digging for dinosaur fossils.

We spent an entire day there, arriving at about 10 and leaving at about 4.  And I’m sure we could have filled even more hours easily!  In addition to exploring Science City and the KC Rail Experience, we also got to see an imax movie in the Planetarium (I don’t remember what it was called, but it was a Sesame Street one that the kids really enjoyed).  I would definitely recommend Union Station for a fun family outing!

I just realized how behind I am on posting belly pictures here!  I always post them to Facebook right away, but I guess I forget to make a post over here too.  We left off with 16 Weeks in this post.  As an aside, can you believe I’ll be 28 weeks already this Wednesday?  Third trimester, here I come!

Also, I’m glad I thought of inserting the text with the weeks and days on each picture.  I didn’t do it with Ava and Kelvin, but I’ll probably go back and edit those pictures to include it.  It’s probably not as classy as making cute signs to hold or custom lapel pins or something like that, but it makes it much quicker to put together a post like this!

19 Weeks, 2 days.  I think I look smaller in this picture than in the 16 week one, but it’s probably just the shirt.

22 Weeks, 5 Days.  Looking back at this picture now, I can’t believe how tiny I was, but I know I felt enormous then!

23 Weeks, 6 Days.

I have a few more recent ones on my desktop computer and camera, but I cannot convince myself to go upstairs and upload them now.  I have had an insanely busy few weeks and my body has been protesting the last few days.  I’ve been having lots of stretching pains, muscle pain around my belly button and some contractions (not abnormal for me).  So the other pictures will have to wait a few days.  Not long, though, since the memory card on my camera is full and I know I need to do something about it!

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