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Emma Grace: 5.25 Years

19 Aug

Emma turned FIVE back on April 7. My last update on her was at 4.75 years, so I’m horribly behind on this update. I can’t believe she’ll be starting kindergarten in just a few weeks!IMG_5194 (Large)IMG_5198 (Large)Size

Emma has grown a whole inch just since turning 5! (She insisted I mark it on our wall ruler.) At her 5-year well-child checkup, she weighed 42 lbs (61%) and was 3′ 8″ tall (81%). She is wearing 5T and XS (4/5) clothing (mostly just for length; she’s so thin that she can still fit in most 4T clothing), and size 11 shoes.IMG_7522IMG_7615Eating

Emma is still a really good eater. She almost always eats her whole dinner with little prompting, and likes a wide variety of food.

When I asked, she told me that her favorite foods are spaghetti, cheeseburgers, grapes, pineapple, watermelon, cheese, cereal, meatballs, and suckers. She also likes broccoli, yogurt, apples and applesauce, popcorn, deli meat, chips, Triscuits, graham crackers, and pretty much any kind of fruit.

Emma often doesn’t eat much for breakfast but eats a decent lunch and dinner. She often asks to go to McDonald’s and loves to drink pop when we let her (which is about once a month). She went through a phase of wanting to add food coloring to her milk and cereal, and she loves to put chocolate frosting and pink sprinkles on her waffles.

She also enjoys being independent and getting/making her own food (as much as she can). IMG_6581IMG_7298IMG_8022IMG_8613Sleeping

Emma is really a champ these days in the sleep department. She very rarely naps (and then it’s only when we’re in the car, usually in the late afternoon) but goes to bed around 7:30 every night. She wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30.

Our bedtime routine is to take a bath (2-3 times a week), put on pajamas, brush teeth, read 2-3 books, and then “do tick” (rubbing her back, legs, arms, and face, and sometimes feet). Emma likes “slow tick” which means moving your hands very slowly, and using a very light touch. I am not very good at slow tick (I’m too impatient), but Emma always wants me to put her to bed anyway.

Emma has a comforter and sheets on her twin bed, but prefers to sleep on top of the comforter, with her “Frozen blankie” and her “yellow blankie.” She used to wear exclusively nightgowns to bed, but now wears shorts/pants & t-shirt jammies (mostly because that’s what I bought her…nightgowns are surprisingly hard to find!).IMG_7020IMG_7335IMG_8859Development

Emma enjoyed going to preschool last school year. She’s known how to spell her own name since daycare the year before (and still insists that her first name is Emma K.), and now she knows how to spell Annabelle’s name too, from memory. She knows all of her letters (though still asks how to draw a few on occasion) and often asks how to spell words. The other day, she wrote up a list of rules for Annabelle, including No Spitting, No Making Messes and No Ruining Mommy’s Decorations.

Emma has also really grown in her drawing and coloring abilities. When coloring a picture, she is usually very meticulous (sometimes she just scribbles to get it done) and not only stays in the lines, but also uses a variety of colors, adding stripes, polka dots, eyelashes, earrings, and high heels.

She has also started drawing a lot of her own artwork. She loves drawing people. The other day, she drew Annabelle getting stung by a wasp (which actually happened). She even drew the tree that was behind Annabelle when she got stung. She has also drawn the Mickey Mouse gang using pictures from the Internet, princesses, mermaids, and her family. She also loves to use markers to draw makeup on her and Annabelle’s faces.IMG_7366 (Large)IMG_7975 (Large)IMG_9316 (Large)Besides her love for drawing, Emma’s favorite thing to do is play dolls and Barbies. Emma and Annabelle are pretty much constantly role-playing. Sometimes they pretend that one of them is the mommy, and one is the sister or baby. They call each other mommy so much that I either don’t respond when they say “mommy” within earshot of me, or I stop and ask, “Are you talking to me?” Other times, they pretend they’re both moms and need to feed, clothe, or put their babies down for a nap (using any number or variety of stuffed animals, dolls, or Barbies and leaving them spread out over the bathroom counter, floor, couches, and beds, tucked neatly under blankets).

And sometimes, they remove themselves from the story completely, and simply have the story unfold between Barbies. If there isn’t a doll or Barbie nearby, they’ll use their fork, french fry, or a bottle of soap. It’s so fun to watch their imaginations at work.IMG_7995 (Large)IMG_8206 (Large)Emma has finally started to ride her bike this summer (still with training wheels), but it still isn’t her favorite thing. I often catch her riding Annabelle’s bike, which is slightly smaller and lower to the ground.

Emma still LOVES the water, and is always the first one to go in and last one to get out when we go to the beach or pool. She has gotten a lot braver in the water, and now loves to float and kick around in the “deep water” wearing her PuddleJumper lifejacket. Back in February, we went to a waterpark that had a slide that ended in a chute and she went down that slide probably 50 times all by herself. She isn’t a fan of slides that end in a plunge pool though. She is still timid when it comes to boat rides, but loosens up once we’re out on the water.IMG_2291 (Large)IMG_8621 (Large)IMG_8622 (Large)IMG_8720 (Large)IMG_9087 (Large)This summer, Emma has often come up to me while playing outside and said, “Mommy, I’m hot. Can I have a freezy/popsicle?” This girls loves her sweets! The two things that she is most motivated by are watching iPad and getting candy (whereas Annabelle often says she doesn’t want dessert or iPad if it means she doesn’t have to do what I’m asking her to do).

Emma is still a determined little girl who knows what she wants and will not back down (that’s a nice way of saying stubborn). We are frequently at a loss at how to handle her tantrums and screaming fits (and it seems like they get really bad for a while, and then taper off), but she plays well with kids and is a good helper at school so ::shrugs shoulders::. I just pray that her passion and vision will translate into powerful leadership skills used for something constructive one day.

Emma is very curious about everything. She loves to watch Travis while he’s working on stuff, and has to touch and look at everything (drives me crazy!!! I often say “Why can’t you just leave things alone?!?”). She still loves making messes (though these days, they are the result of her active imagination and not usually just a dump-and-run kind of mess), and still frequently breaks/destroys things (like popping a balloon we just bought because she “didn’t want it anymore.”)

A few other things we’ve done since this past January:

  • FishingIMG_6582 (Large)IMG_6592 (Large)IMG_2301 (Large)
  • Bike ridesIMG_2306 (Large)
  • Outdoor funIMG_7656 (Large)IMG_7214 (Large)IMG_7361 (Large)IMG_8615 (Large)IMG_7897 (Large)IMG_7906 (Large)IMG_7908 (Large)IMG_7914 (Large)IMG_8373 (Large)
  • Cuddle with Little Guy Guy (Corbin)IMG_7480 (Large)IMG_7860 (Large)IMG_7870 (Large)IMG_8313 (Large)IMG_9260 (Large)
  • Photos of Emma at preschool this past school year:IMG_7545 (Large)IMG_8396 (Large)IMG_7547 (Large)IMG_8730 (Large)IMG_8212 (Large)IMG_8271 (Large)IMG_8272 (Large)
  • Other general shenanigans:IMG_6578 (Large)IMG_7012 (Large)IMG_7286 (Large)IMG_7915 (Large)IMG_9010 (Large)

Emma definitely keeps us guessing and makes life an adventure!

Corbin Travis: 4 Months

26 Jul

My baby boy is already 4 months old (on July 22)! I haven’t kept track of how many weeks he is — #thirdchild — but looking at a calendar, I see that he is 17 weeks old now.IMG_9240IMG_9234Corbin’s nicknames so far are Corb Man, Little Man, Mister Man, Little Guy Guy, and Little Bud.

Size

Corbin had his 4-month checkup on August 2 and now weighs 18 lbs (88%), is 25.25 inches long (42%), and has a head circumference of 17.32 inches (96%).

He’s still wearing 3-6 month, or 6-month clothing, and size 3 diapers.IMG_8979IMG_9043Sleeping

Corbin stays awake consistently for 90 minutes between naps. His naps range from 45 minutes (most often) to 2 hours (occasionally). He almost always goes down for the night between 6:30 and 7:30, and wakes up around 3-4 AM to nurse. He’s “up for the day” between 6:30 (most often) and 7:30 (occasionally).

BUT… the night before he turned 4 months, he started the 4-month sleep regression and was up every 2-3 hours. The next night was pretty much the same, and last night was only mildly better — he went to bed around 8 PM and woke up at 2, 4, and 7. So who knows what his sleep is going to look like going forward.

Corbin is still sleeping in his Rock n Play for naps and bedtime. Over this next month, I’m going to set Corbin’s crib up in his room, and have him start taking a few naps in the crib. We’re also going to start transitioning Corbin out of the swaddle… I just started swaddling him with one arm out. After we do that for a while, we’ll go to both arms out and the swaddle wrapped around his torso. And then we’ll be done!IMG_9029IMG_8923Eating

Probably the biggest change this past month has been Corbin’s nursing habits. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s gotten so used to taking a bottle, or if I’m just not producing as much milk, but he is really squirmy while nursing, and only nurses for 5 minutes or less per side. He has also started to be really distracted while nursing, often pulling off to look around.

When I pump at work, I usually get between 5-6 oz each session (pumping twice over 7 hours). I have no freezer milk left, so I have to start pumping every night before I go to bed, and I’m going to buy some formula to have on reserve for the days I work. Before Corbin was born, I said that I was totally fine with supplementing with formula, and that I wasn’t going to bend over backwards to continue nursing him. But now I’m like, “No, I’m not ready for this to be over yet!” So I’m going to try to keep it going as long as I can, but realize I might need to start supplementing on the days I work.IMG_9113IMG_9114Development

Corbin can now sit up in his Bumbo seat with very minimal head bobbing. I actually gave him his first haircut last week while he was sitting in it. (Giving an almost-4-month-old a haircut is tricky! But his hair was starting to look scraggly, and now he looks so dapper.) He was actually totally fine with getting his hair cut for a good 10-15 minutes; then he was over it.IMG_9107IMG_9049He can bring his hands to his mouth when he wants, and loves to suck on them. He can also reach for and grab dangling toys and bring them to his mouth. (A new skill in just the past couple of days! They change so fast!!) He also still loves his pacifier, and needs it to go to sleep. We give him his pacifier when he’s going down for a nap, in the carseat, or in the Baby Bjorn (when he’s tired).

Corbin loves facing out in the Baby Bjorn, so I put him in there whenever he’s awake and we’re outside (and sometimes when I need to make dinner). But he still prefers to lie on his back and kick his little legs while he’s awake, versus being held. Right around his 4-month birthday, he started rolling on to his side and can now spin himself around while on his back. One night while we were eating dinner, he spun himself around 180 degrees several times. Each time we looked over at him, his head was at the other end of his playmat! I have yet to see how he spins himself around though…IMG_9244Tummy time is still not a favorite activity, but a couple times, he has tolerated it for probably 3-4 minutes, and actually lifted his head up off the floor, so progress! I plan to do more tummy time with him now that he doesn’t absolutely hate it.IMG_9108I’ve taken him on a few short stroller rides (with him reclined in our jogging stroller), but the girls are the limiting factor there (they’d rather do other things instead of going on walks, though that’s changing now that they can both ride their bikes).

Corbin has started talking more, but in a very different way than either of the girls talked at this age. Instead of a loud and high-pitched cooing, he does more grunting, groaning, and blowing bubbles. #allboy It’s going to be really fun to see how he differs from the girls.

The girls still give Corbin a ton of attention, and for the most part, he loves it and tolerates it very well. Annabelle has only made him cry a few times.IMG_9236 As a parent, it’s nice to have other people to entertain the baby if I need to get something done. The other day, I was just finishing painting my toenails when Corbin woke up, and I sent Emma in to his room to entertain him while I finished. And she did…by putting makeup on his face to make him look beautiful. 😉IMG_9099A few milestones for Corbin this month were his first trip to the cabin on Lake Namakan (which also means first boat ride, since you can’t drive to the cabin), first time meeting all 4 of his cousins (on my side), and first time swimming in a pool (which he actually enjoyed!).IMG_8959IMG_8960IMG_8956IMG_2373IMG_2321IMG_8279And that’s Corbin at 4 months!IMG_9230

Emma Grace: 4.75 Years

18 Jan

Emma will be turning 5 in three short months! It is crazy to think that we’ve been parents for that long. And I apparently haven’t done an update on Emma since she was 4.25 years old, so there’s that.IMG_5413IMG_5433IMG_5774Size

Emma weighs 40 lbs and is about 43 inches tall. She now wears size 11 shoes and 5T or girl’s size 5 (XS) clothes. She is a still a beanstalk though, so she regularly squeezes into Annabelle’s clothes when playing dress-up at home.

Eating

Emma has a major sweet tooth and is always vying for candy. One of her favorite treats (though I have no idea why) is a little toilet that comes filled with loose sugar that you eat using two plungers (suckers). It is the grossest idea but she loves it! She also loves donuts, cookies, ice cream, birthday cake pops from Starbucks, pretty much anything with lots of sugar in it.

She’s still not a huge fan of meat, and absolutely refuses to eat anything that even hints at being spicy (you’d be surprised at how many things don’t say they’re spicy but are a little bit), but overall, Emma is still a pretty good eater. Her favorite foods are most kinds of fruit (and specifically apples, applesauce, and strawberries), PB&J sandwiches, chips, chocolate milk, broccoli, and raw carrots and dip. She also loves eating at McDonald’s and China Garden (“china fay” for china buffet).

IMG_5008Sleeping

After my last update, Emma pretty much stopped taking naps. It was painful for me at first to not get that break but I’ve adapted. And now that I’m pregnant, I hate to admit that most days when Annabelle is napping, I also take a nap and Emma watches iPad. But it works out well because Emma now goes to bed at the sensible hour of 7:30 or 8, instead of 9 or 10 like she was when she was still napping.

Emma sleeps through the night, getting up to go potty once or twice. We still usually get up to help her because she’s often so out of it that she can’t remember how to leave her room, or which way to go, or how to get back to bed. It’s actually pretty hilarious. She’s definitely more out of it if she wakes up to go potty just a few hours after going to bed, versus waking up at 2 or 3 am. Though I will sometimes just lay in bed and listen to see if she’s doing fine or having trouble (her room and bathroom are just down the hall from ours).

IMG_4937Development

Emma started going to preschool for 2-3 full days a week this past fall, and has been doing great. She says that she loves going, and really likes her teachers, Ms. Kayla and Ms. Laurie. It has been fun to watch her learn her letters better, enjoy practicing writing them, and start learning words that start with each letter. Her favorite parts of preschool are the arts and crafts, and the different stories and themes they do. Her best friend is Henry Martin.IMG_5193IMG_5192Her teacher Ms. Kayla says that Emma is the only student who writes her name with her last initial: Emma K. When she was still going to daycare, there was another Emma and so they learned their names with their last initial: Emma K and Emma V.

Emma is still quite the budding artist and has started drawing actual things, instead of just scribbles. Most often, she is drawing people and letters. IMG_5545IMG_5419A few “firsts” for the girls that I haven’t mentioned here on the blog yet are that we took them camping this summer for the first time. We stayed at the Army Corps campground in Crosslake, which is about 30-45 minutes from us. The girls had a lot of fun, and we definitely plan to go camping again. Both Travis and I grew up camping, and think it’s important for the girls to have those experiences too.56543DB0-D6E5-47E5-BB76-0C04C12C50EFA weird thing that happened when we were heading home after camping, though, was that Emma’s face got really red and swollen. We took her to the doctor several times to determine the cause and the best answer they could give us was an allergic reaction to the sun. We don’t really buy it, but it hasn’t happened before or since, so…???

Another first was taking the girls to their first football game at USBank Stadium in Minneapolis. Travis’ hometown football team went to the state championship, and even though they got slaughtered, it was still fun! IMG_5766Emma also tried ice skating this fall. We enrolled her in the Learn to Skate program, which met every Sunday evening for a couple of months. Unfortunately, after a few classes of falling down a lot, Emma decided that learning to skate wasn’t very fun, and started to refuse to get on the ice. It was a parenting conundrum for us, but we decided that we would still take her to the class and have her sit on the bleachers, and she could choose whether or not to skate. There were plenty of classes that she didn’t skate at all, but a few she did get out there, and the last class she did really well! So even though we didn’t sign her up for the second session of classes, there’s still hope for her learning to skate sometime in the future.IMG_5173We took the girls to an Operation Christmas Child packing party at our church again this year, and Emma was super into it. She probably packed 20 boxes on her own! Each time she finished one, she raced back to the start of the line and packed another one.IMG_5701Emma and Annabelle still get along really well, and often play together in the morning for almost an hour in one of their rooms. Their favorite games as of late are House (often overheard: “I’m the mom.” “No, I’m the mom!” “Two moms!”) and Doctor. They do fight fairly often over the same toys, but overall, they really love playing with one another.IMG_6514IMG_5678IMG_5260Emma still does mischievous things, like covering her face in an entire tube of chapstick…IMG_5141Or drawing on her and her sister’s face with marker…IMG_5258But overall, her naughty antics have slowed down quite a bit. Which is good, because Annabelle has taken over that role.

When Emma first found out that Jellybean was a boy, she sobbed because she had wanted another sister. She’s since come around and decided that a baby brother will be fun too.IMG_5674This girl adds a lot of spice to life and keeps us on our toes, that’s for sure!IMG_6221IMG_5809IMG_5572IMG_5598IMG_5430IMG_5337IMG_5160And that’s Emma at 4.75 years!

Annabelle Lyn: 2.75 Years

5 Dec

I’m long overdue for an update on the girls here on the ole blog, so here’s an update on Annabelle at 32 months (almost 2.75 years old). Hopefully Emma’s 4.75-year update will be up in the next few weeks as well.IMG_4800IMG_4701Size

Annabelle is wearing some 2T clothes still, but is mostly in 3T. Annabelle is about the same height that Emma was at this age, but is thinner because she eats like a bird. She wears size 7 shoes, and we are moving her up to size 5 diapers (no, she isn’t potty trained yet). We’ll find out her weight and height at her 3-year visit.AB735C72-B05D-4F4E-8228-AC031EB1A182IMG_4798Eating

Like I said, Annabelle eats like a bird. She is a much pickier eater than Emma, but she does have some favorite foods. Right now, she loves yogurt, grapes, mandarin oranges, cheese, tortillas, and bagels. She will also usually eat any kind of fruit, baby carrots with dip, bacon, eggs, fish, chicken sausage, and spoonfuls of peanut butter. But with both girls, if anything even hints at being spicy, they won’t eat it.IMG_5047IMG_5144IMG_5520IMG_5776IMG_4957Sleeping

About a month ago, we moved Annabelle back into her own room so that we could put both girls down to bed at the same time without it being a disaster. Our plan as of right now is to buy Emma a twin “big girl” bed and move Annabelle from her mattress on the floor to the toddler bed Emma has been using. Then we won’t be able to lay by Annabelle while she falls asleep (because we literally won’t fit in the bed), so hopefully that’ll help us help Annabelle fall asleep on her own. We’re probably going to keep Annabelle in her own room until Jellybean comes along and needs a room of his own.

Annabelle mostly sleeps through the night, though has an uncanny habit of waking up at 6:15 (instead of her usual 7:15). I usually lay down with her to get her back to sleep, but since Annabelle is still napping too late in the day (usually from 2-4, my own fault), I think I’m going to start letting her stay up when she wakes up that early, and move her nap to coincide with the time she naps at daycare, which is 12-2. That seems more reasonable, and will hopefully help Annabelle fall asleep faster and earlier at night (right now it takes her around 30 minutes to fall asleep around 9:30).

We do occasionally have Annabelle skip her nap, and then she zonks out immediately around 6 pm, which is nice. But overall, she still needs that nap. And she is a beast if we wake her up before she’s ready, so we really try not to do that (though if she’s still napping at 4:30, we don’t really have a choice).IMG_4766IMG_5129IMG_5596Development

Annabelle is a little chatterbox and has reached the age where to us, she still seems like a baby but then she says stuff that makes her seem like such a big girl! The amount that she comprehends, and the number of words she knows, surprises us a lot. She can count to 13. She can sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Jingle Bells on her own. She can use a scissors now (and one day, decided to practice her skills on the dress Emma was wearing. Uff da!).

She loves jumping–on beds, trampolines, couches. She can be kind of a stinker and get into things that she shouldn’t, and has been known to destroy things for fun (she entertained herself ripping up styrofoam while we decorated the Christmas tree this year). Add in Emma, and the two of them together are Trouble.IMG_5255IMG_5108 She loves baby dolls, especially her Little Baby. While at my dad’s house for Thanksgiving, she found a little basket for Little Baby, and carried her around in that with Baby’s little blanket. So. Cute. She also loves pushing strollers around, and being pushed in them.IMG_4921IMG_4814Annabelle also LOVES shopping and running errands, both the real thing and pretending. She often asks to go shopping, and if she hears that I’m going shopping without her, has a total meltdown. Luckily, she’s a pretty good shopping buddy and is fine with riding in the cart 80% of the time (especially when Emma isn’t there). Get the two of them together, though, and it’s game over. IMG_4984Annabelle doesn’t really have the attention span or muse for coloring, though she does like painting and doodling. Her new thing (that she picked up from Emma a while ago) is playing restaurant–sitting down with a pencil and paper, and asking us “What would you like today?” (though it comes out more like “Wha ya like day?”) And she gets very upset if we don’t answer her immediately. And she LOVES Playdoh.IMG_3931I feel like we still don’t quite have a grasp on the things that Annabelle is truly interested in beyond baby dolls, shopping, and music (she loves singing!), because her most favorite thing to do is whatever Emma is doing. She goes along with Emma’s ideas 80% of the time, though there is still plenty of fighting over toys and “Annabelle isn’t doing x or y like I’m telling her to!” Overall, though, these sisters really love each other, and find some very creative things to do together.IMG_5261IMG_5312IMG_5320IMG_5617IMG_5797IMG_5813Annabelle has started to be a good helper with picking up toys and putting things where they go, especially when there’s an incentive to do so (like helping mommy bake something). Often when we ask her to do something like pick up or to stop doing something like throwing pencils on the floor, she’ll say, “Oooo-kaaaay.” It’s so stinkin’ cute!

She is still a cuddlebug, which I love (but could be problematic when baby brother comes along), and a sweetie. She loves cuddling when she wakes up, especially with her favorite blanket draped over your shoulder, and if you don’t go pick her up the minute she emerges from her room, she assumes the fetal position right in the middle of the floor, waiting for you to come pick her up. IMG_5719IMG_5549In general, she just likes climbing on people, and at night while she’s “falling asleep,” she’ll balance on her head and bounce her butt in the air, which inevitably leads to her falling over sideways into either the wall or your face.

But she has a fierce side too, which comes out when Daddy is rough-housing with her or Emma makes her mad. She bites, scratches, kicks, and jumps on you. Emma likes rough-housing too, though, and my sister-in-law remarked that they wrestled like two boys when we saw them at Thanksgiving. 😉

Annabelle has started to prefer to pick out her clothes on her own and put them on without help. She has a couple of different sweatshirts that she loves and wants to wear whenever she can, and loves to bundle up in the winter by wearing a hat and gloves (pretty much the opposite of Emma in that regard).IMG_5414Annabelle still loves being carried, and often says, “Carry me.” When I put her down after a while and say “I can’t carry you anymore; you’re too heavy!”, she responds, “No, I’m little! I’m little!”

Annabelle loves watching movies and YouTube–her favorite movie right now is Curious George’s Christmas and favorite show is Peppa Pig.IMG_3955 We’ve unfortunately fallen back into the habit of watching technology right when we wake up, but it gives me a chance to drink my coffee and wake up before they demand too much from me. Annabelle often says when she wakes up and I’m still sleeping, “Mom, it’s wake up time!”IMG_4836IMG_5177IMG_5566IMG_5579IMG_5622 cropIMG_5638And that’s Annabelle at 32 months!

Pregnancy #3: 22 Weeks

21 Nov

This pregnancy is flying by! I can’t believe that I’m over halfway already.

23722368_1675810179115964_8792944856374028945_nThere’s not a whole ton more to talk about in the past 4 weeks that I didn’t address in my first bump update but we did have our anatomy ultrasound at 20 weeks and found out that…

WE’RE HAVING A BOY!

We actually had the ultrasound technician write the gender down on a piece of paper without telling us what it was, then we gave it to our neighbor, Andrea, along with a black balloon and both blue and pink paint, and she filled the balloon for us. Then we pinned the filled balloon to a blank canvas and shot it with a shotgun (a little overkill?). The paint was blue! I posted the video on Instagram if you’re interested in watching (@specialkkluthe).

Travis is very excited about having a boy, and I am too, though ever the practical/responsible one, I’m also thinking through all the clothes, blankets, etc. that we’ll have to get for a boy, since all of our stuff after having two girls is pink and ruffles. But I’m trying to look at it as being exciting and not a chore. 😉

Annabelle had no reaction to the news that Jellybean is a boy, but Emma started sobbing over how she had wanted a sister (even though whenever we asked her before finding out, she said she wanted a brother). She’s not that sad anymore (though she still refers to the baby as a “she”), and I’m sure she’s going to have a blast with a little brother. I did remind her that I grew up with a younger brother, and I dressed him in dresses, put makeup on him, played Barbies with him–just because he’s a boy, doesn’t mean he won’t do stuff like that. But he’ll also think of fun games to play with Emma that she wouldn’t have thought of. And she likes rough-housing and getting dirty, so I’m guessing they’ll get along just fine.

Name

We had a boy’s name picked out for Annabelle (since we didn’t know what gender she was until she was born) so both Travis and I had assumed that we would just use that name, since we both still like it. But we apparently can’t agree on whether the full name would be what Jellybean goes by, or if he would go by a nickname. Travis says nickname, I say full name. I feel very strongly that we should name him what we want him to be called (that was the same case with Annabelle…she is not Anna or Belle, her name is Annabelle). So the jury is still out on the name.

Movement

I started feeling Jellybean kick around in my belly around 18 weeks. At first, it was just when I was lying down or being still, but now it’s pretty much all day long. It’ll be fun when his kicks are strong and consistent enough for the girls to feel them from the outside! (We took both of them to my 20-week ultrasound, thinking they’d find it interesting, but their attention span lasted about 5 minutes. Live and learn.)

Clothes

I’m pretty much fully in maternity clothes now. I still have some pre-pregnancy shirts that fit, but most mornings, it’s just easier to put on a maternity shirt, since I know it will fit. I bought a few more maternity shirts from Target, but they’re the kind without ruching on the sides, so I can wear them even after baby comes. 😉

I’m definitely needing more maternity pants, though. I lamented this when pregnant with Emma, and it’s still an issue–you would think that finding maternity pants that fit would be easier than finding regular pants because of the whole stretchy waistband thing, but nope, it’s just as hard. I looked at the limited stores around here with no luck, which is not surprising. I do love the jeans I bought from Old Navy a few months ago, and am probably going to just buy another pair since I know they fit well.

I also really want some maternity leggings and ordered some from Blanqi, but I tried them on and even though they were super comfy, they attracted dog hair like no tomorrow. So back they go. They’re not something I would wear to work, and if I can’t wear them around the house without being covered in dog hair, they are pretty much useless.

Food & Cravings

I don’t really have that many cravings these days, though I have been loving raw veggies and dip, and spinach artichoke dip. My main challenge these days is that I’m so tired, and have been so busy (way, way too busy), and Travis has been traveling for work, so I haven’t been meal planning like usual. But after Thanksgiving, my schedule is a lot more open, and Travis is done traveling for a while, so I’m hoping to get back into the habit of actual dinners.

Exercise

This is also something that has suffered with Travis’ travel schedule. I just do not have the energy to work out and watch the kids at the same time, or get up early/stay up late to work out when they’re sleeping. And since I usually end up falling asleep with Annabelle for her nap, that time doesn’t work either. So I haven’t been working out really at all. With Travis back now, I’m hoping to start doing at least 1-2 days of Pilates, and walking on the treadmill or outside. The girls and I haven’t played outside in weeks! (yikes) We’re due.

Sleep

The last couple weeks of sleep have been less than stellar. I’m already sick of sleeping on my sides, but my belly is not really comfy anymore, and my back is only comfy for so long. But if this is the worst of my pregnancy woes, I’m still lucky.

And that’s about it for 22 weeks!

Pregnancy #3: First 4 Months

12 Oct

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen our announcement about expecting Baby #3 (whom we’re calling Jellybean) around March 26 of 2018. If you don’t, surprise! We’re having another baby! My due date is the day before Annabelle turns 3 and two weeks before Emma turns 5, so Jellybean will also be enjoying shared birthday parties with the girls until they are old enough to plan their own.

IMG_2705

IMG_2708Finding Out

I found out I was pregnant on July 23. Travis requested to be the one to check the pee stick this time, so he could know for 5 seconds before me. I had a hunch I was pregnant before I even took the test because I was just feeling off. I had been taking birth control, but not consistently (I frequently forgot to take it on the days I worked). We knew getting pregnant was a possibility (but seriously, what are the odds?). I think deep down, we both wanted another biological child, even though we are now officially licensed for foster care and are just waiting for a call.

Spilling the Beans

The experience of our miscarriage back in January made me very cautious about telling people this time around—not because a miscarriage (if it were to happen again) is something to be hidden, but because I didn’t want to get really excited and talk with others about a pregnancy if it wasn’t going to work out (obviously nothing is a given, even after a good ultrasound, but the odds are better).

So after we had been able to hear the heartbeat at my first OB appointment around 10 weeks, we told my immediate family when we saw them for my oldest brother’s 40th birthday. I told the ladies in my Bible study around 11 weeks, when I was going to have family (and announcement) pictures taken by one of them. We also told Emma and Annabelle then (more on their reactions below).

At 12 weeks, I had an ultrasound for dating purposes (my cycles on BC were wonky because I had been so inconsistent with taking it, but I was pretty sure about the date we had conceived). The baby’s measurements were within a day of what we had thought, so my original estimated due date of March 26 was kept. We called Travis’ parents and told them the good news around 13 weeks—we wanted to tell them in person, but just couldn’t find a time when we were all together. We texted Travis’ siblings that same night. And then announced it on IG and FB the next day.

Emma & Annabelle’s Reaction

The girls are very excited about getting a new brother or sister, and regularly ask me if the baby is still in my belly (since I’m just starting to show). They also pretend that they have a baby in their bellies, especially if they just ate a lot. Both of them love little babies, and showered the foster child we had briefly with loads of affection and attention, so I know they’re going to be awesome big sisters. We’re going to bring them to my 20-week ultrasound. Annabelle might not get it, but I think Emma will be fascinated!

Pregnancy Symptoms

I’m now 16.5 weeks and so far, this pregnancy has been pretty much on par with my pregnancies with Emma and Annabelle. I didn’t have morning sickness—just more of a general icky, nauseous feeling all day. Coffee and most food sounded disgusting, and I was super tired (Every day I was like, “Can’t we just stay inside and watch a movie instead of playing outside all the time?!?!”).

The thing that has been the worst with this pregnancy is bloating and constipation. I tried prunes, fiber bars and cereal, Metamucil (yuck), stool softener, prenatal vitamins with no iron, salads, drinking more water, you name it. The only thing that worked consistently was choking down a cup of coffee right away in the morning on an empty stomach. And the bloating—at night, I look like I’m 5 months pregnant. In the morning, I’m back to “normal”. Thankfully, this isn’t so bad now that I’m farther along.

I’ve gained about 10 pounds so far. Baby is measuring at the expected size and has a strong heartbeat. We find out the gender on November 8! But Travis is convinced that we need to have the technician write it down and figure out a creative way to be surprised along with our family. So we’ll see. My initial idea is shooting either pink or blue paint balls at a target (he says we should have something that explodes). Men. 😉

Food & Cravings

Even though most food sounded gross for the first 6-8 weeks, I did have a few cravings things I was willing to eat:

  • Frozen pizza
  • Cucumbers dipped in French dressing
  • Cheesy eggs
  • Chai tea lattes
  • Bagels with cream cheese
  • French fries
  • Potato chips
  • Chicken nuggets

More recently, my cravings have been:

  • Caesar salad or salad with ranch dressing
  • Asian food
  • Soup with salty broth

Similar to my other pregnancies, I have barely any sweet tooth. Instead, all I want is salt, salt, salt. For a bedtime snack, I would much rather have a bowl of pretzels or chips over ice cream. Unfortunately, most salty things are not the healthiest. I’m trying to maintain my regular eating habits as much as I can during this pregnancy, because I know from my previous pregnancies that getting out of the habit of eating healthy and practicing moderation is REALLY hard to break later. It’s just so hard when you’re craving fast food, you’re tired, and your husband is out of town!

Exercise

I’ve been running here and there, not for any distance or speed, but just to get out and enjoy it while I can. I have noticed a few aches and pains already, so I plan to start doing Pilates or yoga more consistently. We bought a treadmill last winter, so I am planning on putting that to good use for walking when it gets too cold or icky outside.

Sleep

Sleep has been pretty normal so far. I have been sleeping on my belly still quite a bit, soaking it up before it’s over for far too long. I’ve also been enjoying near-daily naps (on the days I don’t work) and usually fall asleep in the girls’ room around 9 PM while Annabelle is rolling around, fighting sleep. I have managed to get up around 6 or 6:30 quite a few mornings, which is nice. I’m a much happier person when I get some quiet time to drink coffee and read the Bible before having to interact with anyone (besides God).

Maternity Clothes

I put off wearing maternity clothes as long as I possibly could this pregnancy, and I’m still not wearing maternity shirts (though I do have a few tanks that are technically maternity, but I love them so much that I wear them regularly even when not pregnant). I just know that by the end, I get so sick of the limited wardrobe I have to wear that I’m really trying to not dip into them until I absolutely have to. And over the past couple of years, I have accumulated quite a few shirts that are longer and looser, so they actually work fairly well in these early days of “Is she pregnant or just gaining weight?”.

I have a couple pairs of non-maternity pants that still fit, but most of my pants give me major muffin top action (and are frankly no longer comfy) so I have mostly switched over to maternity pants, just in the past week or so. I bought a couple new pairs of skinny maternity pants (dark denim and black) from Old Navy, and plan to buy 3 plain t-shirts (black, gray and olive green) that I can pair with cardigan sweaters and scarves. Even though I still have my previous maternity clothes and the seasons are the same this time as before, my style has changed over the past 5 years.

And that’s the first 4 months! Like my pregnancy with Annabelle, I plan to only do monthly updates instead of weekly ones. We’ll see if I can even get that done. 😉

Emma’s 4th and Annabelle’s 2nd Birthday Party

17 May

We celebrated Emma’s 4th birthday and Annabelle’s 2nd birthday with friends on the Saturday after Emma’s birthday. (The girls’ birthdays are only a week and a half apart on the calendar so we are doing joint parties for now!)

This year, we did a mermaid/beach theme because those are currently a couple of Emma’s favorite things, and Annabelle likes whatever big sister likes. Emma wore her mermaid costume from Halloween (for about the first 30 minutes) and I found a dress for Annabelle that looked mermaid-ish but could still be worn for other things.I tried to keep the decorations inexpensive, or use things I already had (like all the shells, I had collected on beach vacations). After spending oodles on Gerber daisies last year (unknowingly), I went with regular ones this time. 

I had taken a lot more pictures of the decorations with Travis’ phone, but he updated his iPhone soon afterward and couldn’t remember his iCloud password, so they were all lost. 😞

For an activity this year, the kids made “I Spy” bottles. I emptied bottles of ICE sparkling water, added sand from the decor section at Walmart, and found small trinkets at the dollar store and Big Lots, which I put in a muffin tin for easy assembly. The kids put one of each thing in their bottle and the adults helped superglue the bottles shut. I printed out a list with pictures of all the things they had added so they knew what to look for when playing with their bottles later. The girls have really enjoyed theirs! After the activity, it was time to eat! We had turkey and cheese croissants (with googly eyes to look like crabs), fruit salad, trail mix, goldfish crackers, and spinach & artichoke dip with chips. All Pinterest ideas but I ran out of time to make tent cards with creative names so the food choices probably seemed pretty random. 😂Then it was time for cake! I took the easy route this year and bought a tuxedo mousse cake from Costco. After cake, we opened gifts quickly and then went outside to play because we finally had a nice warm day! That doesn’t happen often at the beginning of April.  After most people had left, we tried to get a family photo. The girls were not very cooperative. Oh well. That night, we took advantage of the warm weather and the girls took a pool bath on the deck. So fun!!