Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks Along

Baby probably weighs about 5 pounds. From here on out, it's all about plumping up and gaining weight. All the necessary parts are functioning, it's just a matter of the baby fattening up.

This week I began packing a few items in a hospital bag.
I opened the first bag of size one diapers to have handy (of course, they look SO tiny). I put together a baby registry on just in case anyone is interested in what we still need (which really isn't much). I bought a baby book to use in putting together a scrapbook for Inkling.

I also took my older two children on a tour of the childbirth unit at the local hospital. They had been there to visit us after the birth of "Flutter" about 20 months ago. However, they had never seen the birthing suites, the nurses station, NICU, etc. For me, seeing it all again reminded me that the day is coming soon when I'll be there, laboring and cuddling my sweet new baby.

Time is indeed drawing nigh!

We love you, Baby Inkling, and are counting down the days and weeks until you officially join our family!

Toddler Girl at 19 Months


This toddler is growing and growing. 
She's now surpassed the 19-month mark.

Her hair is growing out. We've not cut it yet. The back tends to be tangled now, making it hard to comb out each morning. 

She is fascinated with watching the bread machine work. So cute as she peeks in the little window.

She loves to eat with her own spoon and fork. We may soon move her from the high chair to a booster seat at the big table. 

She just wants to do anything that big brother and sister do. Big playground equipment at the park, running around the yard, playing in the sprinkler, wrestling on the floor, pillow fights. You name it... if they are doing it, she wants to be doing it too.

That includes things she doesn't understand at all. When brother was asked to stand at the wall for a few minutes as a time out, her compassionate heart led her to stand at the wall with him. She loves him. 

Her vocabulary is growing daily. Some of her favorite words these days are "airplane" and "flip flops." She loves to distinguish between "big" and "little" items. She enjoys dancing to music, spinning in circles around the living room until she drops. 

She is such a sweet girl. She points to my belly and says "baby" but certainly her understanding of a new baby coming our way is limited. Life will change drastically in the next month or so. I'm trying to enjoy these moments with her while at the same time pull away a little to make the adjustment easier. It's a difficult balance. 

We love you, Little Lady!

Park Days


Summer means days at the park. 

In our area, we have numerous "splash pads" connected to the parks which are great for kids to enjoy on hot days.

Here are a few shots of my youngest daughter playing at the park and splash pad this summer. 

Just my size!

(This is what we did together when the older two were at swim lessons - see previous post on the swim lesson experience).

Swim Lessons


My older two kids recently took swim lessons. This was a first for them, but they were super excited about it. 

My daughter takes to the water like a fish. She easily passed her level one class and wishes she could move on immediately to level two. 

My son was a bit more reserved, hesitant and had to work up his courage to do some of what was expected. I think he drew strength from having his big sister in the same class. 

We are blessed in our city to have numerous aquatic centers and pools that offer lessons. We're thankful! 

Pregnancy Update: 34 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 34 weeks along

Baby should be weighing 4-5 pounds now. I'm definitely feeling a lot of movement. 

I accomplished a lot in the last week. We got out our boxes of newborn baby clothes, got them all washed and sorted. I set aside a few outfits for taking with us to the hospital, though that's as far as I've gotten with packing the hospital bag. 

I *think* my husband and I have settled on baby names. 

And we're starting to get a game plan for who is watching our older children when we're in the hospital in labor. We're also talking about my husband's work schedule and scheduling some time off when the baby comes. 

It's getting closer now. Just a few more weeks! 

Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks Along

This week I have felt really good, with a little energy boost kicking in. We did some cleaning and re-arranging this week, which feels good to this nesting mama. 

I was able to get a great deal on small diapers this week at CVS, to stockpile some for the baby. 

We got out the baby car seat from storage, which is one step closer to getting it into our van. This will necessitate another step of moving our 18-month-old (and her car seat) to a different spot in the van.

I also had a visit with my primary care doctor this week, who was very pleased with my weight gain and handling of my gestational diabetes. Good news all around! 

We love you, Baby Inkling, and delight in preparing a place for you in our home and hearts! 

Triple Birthday Bash


This time of year, it is our tradition to hold a Triple Birthday Bash to celebrate the 3 summer birthdays in our family (of my hubby, my daughter and me). 

It was a lot of work to pull this off this year and I'm not sure I'd try it again being this pregnant. But it did go well. We've only skipped doing the Birthday Bash once and I regretted it after the fact, so I am glad that we hosted it this year.

Our neighbors joined us, which was nice. This is Liz and her dog Lola. My kids love Liz as a babysitter and my daughter dog-sits for Lola on occasion. Lola was wearing a party dress for the occasion. 

We tried a Dairy Queen ice cream cake for the first time ever. It was a hit with everyone!

Here is my oldest daughter opening some gifts. She is really into house layouts and floor plans these days, so she was super excited about a re-usable sticker planner she received.

She received lots of nice gifts - a hula hoop, a big bouncy ball for outside, a nice organizer for her room, nail polish, 2 alarm clocks, a body pillow, and that's just what I can recall. She is well loved!

Fun times and memories in the making!

Happy Birthday, Babe!
Happy Birthday, Dear Daughter! 
Happy Birthday to me!

Pregnancy Update: 32 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 32 Weeks Along

My birthday is this week, so here's a shot of me with some birthday loot - plenty of goodies for making smores. Mmmm. 

I think I overdid it earlier in the week (we went blueberry picking), as I ended up with some hip pain that made simple walking difficult for a few days. However, that is gone now and hasn't returned. 

I feel good. My sister-in-law paid me a huge compliment over the weekend, telling me that I looked very healthy and "perfectly pregnant." After some not-so-flattering comments about being "sooo big" it was encouraging to hear someone tell me that I looked healthy, even thin everywhere except for my baby bump. 

We're counting down the weeks. And now that August is here, we can officially say that our due date is next month. It'll come quick. I still have plenty to do to get ready and I know these last few weeks will speed along. 

We love you, Baby Inkling!

My Boy


My son. He's 7. 
He keeps us on our toes 
and keeps life from being anywhere close to boring. 

When we got a good soaking rain recently, lowpoints in our backyard filled with water. Here he was playing in the mud puddle - making a rock bridge, jumping, splashing, pretending to be an army soldier and then pretending to be working in rice paddies. What an imagination!

He loved playing our 1980s version of Mousetrap. So fun! 

Yes, that is Spiderman you're seeing. And he's wearing a coonskin cap and sandals. And riding a bike. 
The cutest superhero around!

He has always loved to help in the yard and/or work with tools. When the men of our church were spending a few hours helping a widow with yard work, he was able to tag along. He's not smiling in this picture, but he was being a serious helper!

You're an important part of our family. 
We love you, buddy!

Homeschooling Encouragement: Such a Blessed Life


A beautiful choice for our family. 
A wonderful freedom in our country.

I recently saw something on Facebook that reminded me what a blessed life I lead. Not an easy life, but a blessed one indeed.

Blessed to be at home with my children, watching them change and grow and learn and explore. 

Blessed to be at home with my children, reading about adventures set in other times and places, as we learn together. Blessed to be the one who is shaping their worldview, helping them think through issues, helping uncover their hidden talents and abilities.

Blessed to be at home, preparing meals for my family to enjoy together as we talk, listen, and laugh together around the table. 

Blessed to hear "Mom, look at this!" all day long as my children try new things, discover something new in a book, or create something new out of their wild imaginations. 

Blessed to be able to include my children in the daily rhythm of life - shopping, skyping with Grandma, daytime visits to those needing encouragement, along with laundry folding and meal preparing and house cleaning. 

Blessed to be able to take walks around the neighborhood at any time of day, to watch road construction happen outside our window, to call for recess any time it's needed.

Blessed to be able to sleep in or get up early or take a nap. It's my choice, my privilege, my schedule. Wow!

Blessed to learn more about who I am while my kids learn who they are. 

Blessed to know that in good times and in bad, our family will be together. Our traditions and routines are the glue that holds us together through it all. 

I am a home educator and parent. 
Some think I am brave. I just think I am being true to my convictions and loving my family the best I can. 

I am blessed. Seriously blessed.

Pregnancy Update: 31 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 31 Weeks Along

I have been tossing and turning at night now, as it's getting harder to be comfortable while laying down. 

Baby Inkling continues to move a lot. I love that aspect of pregnancy... a little human being moving around inside. 

My husband and I continue to talk through name possibilities, going back and forth on a few. 

Just 2 more months until due date arrives. We can't wait to be surprised at your arrival, Baby Inkling!

Happy Birthday to my Man


My main squeeze just had a birthday. 

He didn't want any extra attention or parties. But the kids and I did join him at work for a picnic birthday lunch.

I am beyond thankful for this man. He isn't perfect (neither is his wife) but he puts in 100% every day. He works hard at work. He works hard at being present and available at home. He undoubtedly loves me and his heart is for our family. I truly couldn't ask for a better man to walk through life with. 

And he makes amazing homemade pizza to boot! :-)

What a blessed life we live! 
Happy Birthday, Babe!

Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks Along

30 weeks out of 40 = 3/4 of the way there

I look huge. 
I am receiving regular comments about looking huge. 
I have very little muscle tone due to multiple pregnancies and one of those being an 11+ pound baby. 
It's ok, folks. My docs are on it. Baby is fine. I'm fine. And my due date has not changed. 

I continue to "nest" and do a little bit of cleaning and preparing each day. 

My 7-year-old son now enjoys feeling the baby move. So that has become a special time, with some baby education mixed in. 

We love you, Inkling! 

Toddler Girl at 18 Months

This little girl is 18 months old.

Here's her most recent portrait.

My 7-year-old son took these snapshots, which turned out great. She was in her 4th-of-July outfit.

Boxes are always so much fun to play in.

This is just such a cute picture with the cheesy grin.

She looks so tall and grown up on the stairs in this picture.

She has gotten 4 new teeth this month - her canines. This has made for a few difficult days, which happened to include her 18-month doctor check up and her 18-month portrait picture-taking session.  

She is always trying new things - walking (not crawling) up the stairs, eating new foods, venturing further in our yard to discover new territory, becoming a little more independent in the church nursery. Her vocabulary is always growing too, as she says new words daily. 

We love watching you grow and discover, Little Miss! 
You remain a joy and delight to our family!

Pregnancy Update: 29 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 29 Weeks Along

I had a second ultrasound this week, which confirmed that Baby Inkling is healthy and growing just fine. I have a particular antibody in my system that can result in a heart issue in about 20% of babies, so this ultrasound simply confirmed that Inkling's heart is functioning as it should. The ultrasound also put Inkling's current weight at 3 and 1/2 pounds, which is excellent. 

I have begun setting aside a few items for the hospital bag and baby's diaper bag. This week I hope to inventory my diaper supply to see how many more I should stock up on before Inkling's arrival. I felt more prepared in this department last time around, but I do still have time to find some decent diaper deals and stockpile some. 

My midwife appointments are every two weeks now, so I'll have another appointment this coming week. 

I love seeing you grow strong and healthy, Inkling! 

Pregnancy Update: 28 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 28 Weeks Along

This week's theme is ITCHING! It is very common for the stretching belly skin to be itchy. I've got an additional rash on my forearms and in a few other places that are making me VERY ITCHY all over! My midwives aren't concerned at this point and assume it's just a reaction to a change in soap, detergent, etc. I'm not sure what would cause it and it's lasted almost 3 weeks now. So I try to exercise major self control and use anti-itch lotions and oils to bring some relief. 

Baby Inkling, you are worth all of the itching and discomfort that I may experience. I love you so much and am thankful to be able to experience the privilege of pregnancy, such a unique and incredible season of a woman's life! 

Trip to Wisconsin


A few weeks ago we took a weekend trip to visit my extended family in Wisconsin.

Here's a festive picture of my clan. 

My mom usually throws a summer party when we come to visit. This year it was a luau theme, so you'll see lots of leis and hawaiian decor. There were also 3 family members turning 40 this year, so there were "over the hill" decorations as well.

Look at these wonderfully dressed up kids!

We had one beautiful sunny day to enjoy outdoor and water fun. 

My oldest daughter on Grandma's playset. 

This is my son and his cousin Trinity, who is very close to his age. They played very well together.

Here's my toddler girl checking out the pool.

The older two kids wanted to see just how big a round hay bale is. Too big to push over, they discovered. And big enough to sit on and see a distance. A beautiful Wisconsin scene.