Friday, August 2, 2019

LB's 5th Birthday

Somehow our baby girl has hit the big number 5! 5 is one that definitely hits to the gut as you realize the toddler days are gone and now all of a sudden you have this child who is school age and growing up and becoming more and more independent. And how in the heck did 5 years come and go so quickly?!?

This year our girl has been asking for 11 months when her birthday was coming, she was more than a little excited and it was finally her turn. She had it all planned out! 

Her actual birthday we brainstormed what would make our girl happy, and decided that a food tour would be perfect for her! She loves to eat, even though she is TINY!  She can out eat her 9 year old brother! 

First stop Daddy went to get some super yummy donuts so we could celebrate her with the family before starting her day of fun with just mom and dad!

And then we were off!  She loved having complete control of where we went on her day out! 

First stop she picked, a local park!

And then she had a tough debate between pizza, hot dogs, or tacos but decided on some pizza! 

And then ice cream

Next she wanted to go to a local splashpad! She had a lot of fun here!

And then she was insistent on getting a hot dog from one of her favorite places!  

She was wearing down by this point but we kept the fun going by letting her go to a very fun candy store and filling up on candy and cotton candy!

I would say she was thoroughly spoiled as any kid should be on their birthday.  

Happy Birthday sweet girl!  I look back at your baby pictures and don't understand how it is possible that 5 years has come and gone so fast!    I feel so honored that we get to be your parents and watch you become unique you! You are silly, always making us laugh.  You're tough and determined and strong.  You give amazing hugs and love to snuggle.  You have a way of warming the hearts all around you with your beautiful smile.  It is a privilege to watch you grow and I truly cannot wait to see where life takes you because I know there is nothing you can't accomplish with the level of determination and heart you have!  You are so loved and I can't wait to be a part of everything this year of life has in store for you! Bring it on! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Peter's Birthday

This weekend we celebrated my favorite person in the worlds birthday! He never takes any time for himself and he rarely gets to do the things he enjoys doing so we tried to plan a day with a few of his favorite things. 

Starting with a stop to get some of his favorite donuts 

And the flavor of the month just so happened to be delicious raspberry! 

We normally do a "real" hike but between the pregnancy, hot weather and kids who really don't enjoy hiking we took it a little bit easier this year and just did a short local hike with some fun views of Portland.

We were all a bit tired and hot and cranky (did I mention the kids don't like hiking?)  but Peter's favorite lunch stop cured everyone of the grumpy's! 

Even better we were able to come home and take naps and then enjoy the evening with the kids and Peter's family!  It's never much fun to have to work on your birthday but hopefully the little bit of time we got to spend with Peter for his birthday was fun enough! 

Peter, I love you so very much and count my blessings that you were born and are a constant part of my life! I could not imagine life without you in it. You love your family so sacrificially and I hate that at times I take amazing you for granted! You work so stinkin hard for your family, working and commuting long hours and during this pregnancy you have been such a rock for me. Never complaining but willing to put aside your own stresses, step right in and help with the kids, help with dinner, help with cleaning, run out at 9:30 to fulfill a craving. It's not fair to you but your efforts are not going unnoticed.  I know it's hard work and yet you make it all look so easy. You are one amazing guy and these years I've got to spend with you in my life have been the best kind of blessing.  I hope someday I can love you as well as you always love me. I hope you felt a little bit of that love and appreciation as we celebrated you this weekend. One of the best blessings ever is seeing how much our kids adore and look up to you.  You are so loved by all of us every day of the year but I hope you really felt it for your birthday!  

Saturday, July 20, 2019

20 Week Ultrasound

Yes, we have crossed over the halfway point in this pregnancy and we are cruising right along!  I have been so eager to get a glimpse of this little baby that the last 5 weeks since I made the appointment have dragged on and on.  But we finally made it and I just love staring at that screen and getting to really "meet" our baby for the first time!  

The baby was so active all morning and had quieted down a little bit before the appointment so I figured it was napping but I was surprised to see how much this baby was moving around in there when I wasn't feeling it. I feel like this baby is so much more active already than the other kids so it was sweet to hear the ultrasound tech laugh and watch in amazement as this baby never sat still and made getting measurements really difficult! 

It was as equally difficult as the other two kiddos were at their ultrasounds, and maybe more so since I have to go back in a couple weeks to try again to get some measurements they weren't able to get because of our uncooperative little one. Baby is measuring almost a week ahead and weighing in at 14 ounces.  I'm a bit surprised as our other kiddo's measured on the smaller side but this kid is showing us in every way to not compare it to the others lol!  And very much unlike his or her siblings who were still hiding low in my pelvis at 20 weeks this one was up high and laying transverse which also probably doesn't help with how big I feel already! 

The ultrasound report was great news in every way, everything they were able to get looks perfect and even my cervix which was short by this stage last time is measuring well longer than average meaning I don't need to be worrying at all about preterm labor at this stage in the game! I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear that news and just in general know that everything is going great in there!  I am so thankful and so blessed to be carrying this little blessing!  

This picture definitely looks like Daddy and big brother to me but that doesn't say anything about gender because both of our kiddo's came out looking like their Daddy! 

We elected to not find out gender again. With 2 of each the decision was very easy to make! I was surprised to find out the tech didn't even check out gender this time so it won't even be on my chart and nobody including our doctor will know until the big reveal! 

But just for fun, here are a few of the common old wives tales or comparisons to my past experiences having a boy and girl, although this baby proves time and time again that he or she is unique and their own person.  I am so excited and can't wait to meet this little one! 

1) Placenta location in early pregnancy: BOY
2) Carrying Low: BOY
3) Lots of Acne: GIRL
4) Heartrate: Indecisive, it was in the 160's at 12 weeks, which says girl but now it has settled in the 140's which in my opinion seems to be right between boy or girl rates.
5) Cravings Fruits and Vegetables: It's more like my BOY pregnancy where I could not get enough fruit than my girl pregnancy where I craved sweets.
6) Chinese Gender: Seems a little indecisive since baby was conceived during my birthday month.
7) Morning sickness:  More like my BOY pregnancy where a slight yucky feeling has lingered whereas my girl pregnancy was intense sickness but gone around 12 weeks.
8) Fatigue is much more like my BOY where I am still struggling with being tired and feeling yucky, once I was out of the first trimester with my girl I was good to go!

So MOST signs point to boy but you just never know until the end :)  We will be thrilled no matter what and count ourselves extremely blessed to just have this opportunity again!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Our 4th of July Weekend

Knowing we had the long weekend ahead and Peter really wanting to be at the beach for the ultra low tides, it was a no brainer to head to one of the kids favorite places, great grandma's house! 

We got in pretty late so the first thing on the agenda the next morning was one of the kids favorites - sour dough pancakes! Peter used to always rave about these pancakes before I had tried them so it is fun to share one of Peter's favorite memories with the kids now!

After breakfast we had a very low key afternoon. The kids love exploring Grandma's yard, there's much to explore! 

Recently the kids have started talking about kites, so we decided to buy a couple cheap ones and test them out. After a little trial and error, they got one flying pretty good!



And the sunsets are always the best! 

The next morning the kids were out on the beach early to take advantage of the ultra low tides and seeing things they normally wouldn't see. They even got to save a fish who was caught in a pickle. They love exploring the tide pools anyhow but they had the rare opportunity to see things they've never seen before. 

 And then it was time for another yummy breakfast and some afternoon activities and visiting before it was time to head back home.

But they certainly look forward to their time at Grandma's every year! 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Letters To My Baby - First Trimester

Last pregnancy I made a little scrapbook, week by week to keep track of all the memories. This time I thought it might be fun to write a tiny little letter to the baby week by week.

Week 3:
Hello little baby in there! I can't even believe our dream has come true and you are on your way! We have wanted you for so very long and the only emotion we can feel is joy in knowing that you are in there and starting to grow! I can't even tell you how head over heels in love we are with you from the very first moment we knew you existed! Because of the circumstances of last year, I keep testing to make sure that line keeps getting darker, but it certainly seems you are doing your best to stick around in there and we are hopeful! We can't wait to meet you and know you! Stay strong and keep growing little one!

Week 4:
Hello in there Baby Smalls!  Your Daddy and I have been trying to come up with a nickname for you. We almost named you Butterball because we expect you to arrive right around Thanksgiving, but I was so tired one day this week and kept yawning and as I struggled to stay awake I said "You're killin me Smalls."  And thus your nickname was born! The last several days have passed so very slowly as we bask in the excitement of knowing you exist. It is still very much a secret to the world but your Dad and I are thrilled beyond belief! Your siblings talk about another baby all the time and while we are going to wait a bit longer before telling them, we can't wait to let them know that you'll be joining our big crazy family! You are already growing and changing so much as your body and organs begin to form, it is such a fascinating process and a miracle in the making! This week you have made me a bit more tired than normal and queasy here and there but so far we are trucking through this pretty well together! This week I called to schedule my first appointment and our doctor actually answered the phone and was excited and shocked to find we would be traveling this journey all together again! It is getting more real every day that passes!

Week 5:
Another week down, they sure seem to be moving slow right now! So far things with you seem to be moving at about the same pace symptom wise as they did with your brother and sister. I am queasy in the evening hours (which is kind of new), tired almost every moment of the day, and well, sore in other places that is it common to be sore in during early pregnancy.  Every single moment of all these early yucky symptoms is so worth it to know you are growing big and strong in there. My app tells me that you are the size of an apple seed right now, definitely growing pretty fast in there if you ask me! I also read that you already have a beating heart which I think is pretty darn amazing!  Keep up the good work in there!

Week 6:
Hello in there baby! This week was a special week because we got to see perfect little you! I went to the doctor for initial bloodwork to make sure my body is doing everything it can to keep you healthy. I mentioned some sharp cramping I was having on my right side, assuming that I would be told that is normal as things grow and change, but my doctor is amazing and wanted to make sure we were both safe so she had me to some more bloodwork to make sure my hormones were increasing as they should and also wanted me to do an ultrasound as soon as possible. So early the next morning your Daddy and I were off to the hospital to see if you were okay. I was of course nervous because the first ultrasound is where we truly know whether things are okay. At first the tech couldn't find you and said I was very early, all we could see was the gestational sac and yolk sac. But later on after checking ovaries, there you were! You are so sooo tiny but seeing you and that tiny little new heart beating away melted me! How something so very tiny has such a strong hearbeat already is just incredible! I am so glad you are okay and as far as the pain goes, I apparently have a decent size cyst left over in my right ovary from when you were released! Seeing that glimpse of you makes all my grievances - the fatigue and the really bad nausea so worth it! The nausea has kicked in to high gear these last 3 days - yuck! I think God gives us women an amazing lack of memory because while I remember being sick and knew it was not fun, I just didn't remember quite how miserable it really was, but it's all worth it! Right now pretty much everything is a food aversion except for fruits, so I am eating what I can when it sounds good.  You are the size of a sweet pea this week and your ears, eyes, and mouth have began to form! Pretty cool!

Week 7:
Fortunately this week I feel like the nausea has let up a little bit. Don't get me wrong, I still feel sick but I can at least find some relief this week. It leads me to believe that maybe my hunch of you being a boy might just be correct because this is more similar to how I felt with your big brother! The highlight of this week is that we got our dating ultrasound so I got another sweet glimpse of you! I'd stare at you all day if I could! You've grown so much in 9 days - good job! This week it didn't take more than a second to see your tiny little body pop up on the ultrasound screen and a very clear heartbeat booming away! The tech said it was in the 140's so yet another confirmation that you might be a boy! And just for fun, I have a silly theory about where baby sits in the gestational sac. You see, your big brother in his ultrasound debut was way over on the lower right hand side of his sac, and your big sister was way up high in the left hand side of hers. You, my dear are sitting down on the right hand side! So needless to say, I have my hunches about what I think you are, but nothing is for sure and maybe you'll surprise me!  It was such a relief to see you again and know little blueberry size you is doing so well in there! Another highlight is that over the Easter weekend we told the kids that you are on the way! I don't think there could be more excited big siblings in the entire world! They love to talk about you and try to name you and guess if you are a brother or sister. They cannot wait to meet you and hold you!  We are all so excited that you are part of our family!


Week 8:
Hi baby! This week you took your very first of many trips to Disneyland in your lifetime.  It was a bit of a rough trip for mom as I couldn't do any of the "fun" rides with your big siblings and I spent a lot of time just sitting around and feeling pretty gross. But we made it through. The last couple days of the trip were really hard. I have been impressed thus far at how I haven't felt as exhausted as I remember the other pregnancies being, but the exhaustion has definitely caught up with me now and I am so tired. I also think when I get tired, the nausea gets worse! In exciting news for you this week, you are getting bones and are about an inch long! Keep growing in there baby smalls!


Week 9:
Whew, you got me waving the white flag this week! Mama has not felt good AT ALL!  I was hoping that things would be improving by now but I am having to take it day by day and I admit, it has gotten rough! Your big siblings keep me moving and I've had to call in for lots of extra help this week because I've barely been able to scrape myself off the couch or out of bed.  I am so tired and so sick! I know you will be worth every single sick moment and I just have to keep my eyes on the prize! Another exciting moment for me this week is that I found your little heartbeat at home on a doppler! I won't use it all the time but it is reassuring to get to hear it once or twice a week and know you seem to be well in there! It was in the 170's so I guess between the sickness and the higher heart rate I'm having my first week of thinking you might be a girl. So what is happening in your little world? From what I read you are looking like a real baby this week with arms legs fingers toes - go smalls!


Week 10:
Congrats little one on your graduation from "embryo" to "fetus"!  You really look baby like now. It is amazing to think that so many of your organs are in place and functioning already in just 10 short weeks since you were nothing but a developing egg. God is so amazing in what he can do so quickly in there!  We are so blessed to have you in our lives! The start of week 10 has been rough but as the week went on I started feeling more and more human! Yay, I can see the end of trimster 1 coming! This week you are getting finger nails - say what?  Finger nails already!!!

Week 11:
Another week down. I was hoping the symptoms would start decreasing this week but so far I am still sick and very tired. It can get you down after awhile for sure.  The best part of this week was going to the doctor and hearing your heartbeat! The doctor said you are a very good baby :)  She asked if I had a guess on if you were a boy or girl, I said boy. I then asked her what she thought because she guessed correctly what your sister was at my 12 week appointment just by listening to the heartbeat.  She wouldn't say for sure that she was thinking girl, but she did mention that your heartrate was still pretty high up in the 170s!  The only downer is that my blood pressure was a bit high so I need to keep an eye on that and rest up. I am hoping once I am feeling better that the blood pressure will become more cooperative!  What is happening with you?  Your liver, spleen and kidneys are working and you are over 2" long!  Grow baby grow!

Week 12:
The last week of our first trimester together! Look at us go (and grow!)  This is a secret that your Daddy says we can no longer keep.  The bump apparently grows much faster this 3rd time around! This is the week we started letting the rest of the world find out about little ole you and everyone is excited! You are a true blessing! As we wrap up this trimester, I really REALLY hope that I begin to feel better soon. I felt better last pregnancy by this point so I am getting a bit defeated that I still am not feeling well. Its gotta end eventually right?  My app says that this week you are gaining coordination in your arms and fingers and may even be sucking your thumb! You have grown and changed so much these first 12 weeks of your existence and I am just amazed at this whole process. You are amazing baby Smalls and so so very loved already!