Friday Five: 3/1/19

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  1. Despite my best efforts, this little munchkin is growing up. I like having older kids a lot, but I also like having a baby. 6 months is my favorite baby age, and Kateri is 7 months today! She can sit on her own, is rocking to all 4’s and loves being entertained by her siblings. Here, Ruth is taking a turn at feeding her. She loves almost all foods and has 2.5 teeth. She slept all night in her crib last night, which is her first night out of the bassinet! She still likes to be swaddled, enjoys her exersaucer and playing on the floor with toys. BTW, this high chair is new for baby #5 and we. love. it. What’s so special about it? NOTHING. There is nothing special about it. It’s a molded piece of white plastic on 4 legs and a 1 piece molded plastic tray. No crevices, no pads, lightweight and easy to clean and cheap. A+++ in my book! (Thank you IKEA!!)Gabriel Respect award 2.JPG
  2. This kid. Talk about growing up! In the last week he’s improved his reading scores BIG TIME and is leading our family reading challenge with 20 books this year! He was awarded the ‘RESPECT’ towel award at his year end swim banquet for being a hard worker, pushing his teammates, getting faster and faster himself, and being dedicated to the team. To say I was a proud mama at the banquet was an understatement. Gabriel is such a cool kid and I really enjoy hanging out with him. 9 is a fun age.

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3. Go away winter. You’re dead to me. Our relationship has become quite strained. We are SO ready for spring! Our kids had 12 snow/cold days this year. 12! And 2 more built-in days off, so that makes 14, which if you can do math is almost 3 WEEKS OFF. Jeremiah was home a lot of the mornings with them and invented the ‘Frost Games’ of which are like an indoor Olympics with wadded up paper balls and various games, obstacle courses, etc. He commissioned a championship cup for the winner that will be filled with their favorite treat. My score is the lowest, but I believe Jeremiah, Lucy and Gabriel are all pretty tight for #1. No fair that I wasn’t even present for half of the games. I’ll keep you posted who wins, because I know you’ll all be dying to know. 😉

4. Lucy’s first communion in in 5 weeks. So we’ve been doing a lot of prep, or should I say Lucy has been insistent about doing a lot of prep. After hours and weeks of looking, we decided on her dress. It’s hanging in the laundry room and I think she goes in there daily to admire it. Think fluffy and tulle, just what she wanted. She’s also ecstatic about a tiara, veil, shoes and clip on earrings that she’s acquired for the momentous occasion. She designed her own invitation on canva and if you can’t tell, she’s quite excited.

5. Well, I’m off to host a booth at a career fair this afternoon with my mini-me’s. This weekend we are doing an exciting mix of taxes, sewing the holes Lucy put in her winter coat (I WILL make it last!), playing tetris in the girl’s closet to figure out how to fit 4 girls’ clothes in there, and taking a road trip in which I’ll also be trying out a new system for kid’s road trip snacks. Our life is riveting, ya’ll. Should be a good time!!!

The birth story of Kateri Elizabeth Ann Costello

The Birth of Kateri Elizabeth Ann Costello

August 1, 2018

7:47pm

8 lbs 1 oz

19 in long

39 weeks 4 days gestation

Wednesday, August 1 I woke at 4:30 am. This was becoming my norm and I had not been sleeping well for some time. I began noticing contractions and began timing them while laying in bed; 6 mins apart for about an hour. I got excited thinking that today was finally going to be the day!!! I got up around 6am and quietly crept to the couch. I started reading in a large family facebook group about funny birth stories that made me laugh. Contractions were still 6 mins apart, but nothing to write home about. Jeremiah got up around 7:30, along with Gabriel. I told him what was going on and he decided to cancel some plans he had for the day. He started doing a happy dance around the house. I was annoyed. Because when you’re 39.5 weeks pregnant, everything is annoying!

We got kids fed and dressed for the day and I threw a few more things into the van that I thought I’d need at the hospital. Meanwhile, my contractions STOPPED. Kyle and Alissa offered to take the older 2 girls to the fair, and Gabriel was at school. That just left us Ruth. We decided to go for a walk to try to bring on contractions. (We had been walking every night so I wasn’t sure this was going to do anything special!) We walked for over an hour. No contractions. I was seriously annoyed and disgusted.

By this time Gabriel was back from school and it was lunchtime. I was so disgusted with my lack of progress that I made myself a sandwich and sulked in the corner of the porch by myself. I then promptly left for my massage appointment at 1pm, without offering to help with lunch. With Ruth I had a ‘labor induction massage’ that worked wonders, so I had scheduled one for this day, hoping I would have already had a baby by now. About halfway to the appointment, the lady let me know that she would have to reschedule, she was heading to the hospital with a doula client. Ugh. I knew I shouldn’t be upset, and it sure wasn’t her fault, but of course, I was annoyed.

I headed home and limped upstairs for a nap, as mostly everyone in the house was doing the same. I slept for about 1.5 hours then came downstairs. We sat on the porch and visited with my parents who had stopped by and then I played Gabriel in a game of checkers. I was seriously uncomfortable, and not because my 9 year old was beating me. I had so much pelvic pressure, random contractions that had no rhyme or reason, pain everywhere and swelling everywhere. My pelvis hurt the most, especially just above my pubic bone. I was cranky. I went inside to use the restroom and upon walking back across the living room floor, I felt a gush of water. I thought there is no way my water just broke! It was 5pm.

I told Jeremiah that I thought my water just broke and he sat upright real quick. Gabriel launched into big brother mode and started putting on his and Ruth’s shoes. We had told the kids previously that when it was time to go to the hospital they needed to MOVE. With my last delivery things had went quickly and I wasn’t planning on delivering a baby on the side of the road! G got Ruth in the van and just as we were climbing in, Kyle and Alissa arrived to drop off the older girls from the fair. They offered to take all the kids and drop them off at my parents, so we could GO. I was thankful for that as I was already feeling the baby move lower and contractions were starting to feel more real.

We drove very quickly to the hospital, but of course there was a lot of traffic. I thought we were going to be in an accident more than once. I was timing contractions and they were 2-3 mins apart consistently and getting quite painful.I let our midwife, Kim, know we were on our way.

I was relieved when we got to the hospital. Kim called just as we were getting out of the car and let us know she was on her way. We walked all the way up to labor and delivery and checked in. I was hurting. Check in seemed to take forever. They got us in a triage room and Kim arrived. She checked me and said I was 5 cm and cervix was ‘paper thin’. I had been 3.5 cm a few days ago so I wasn’t impressed. She reassured me that it would not take long. Kim has been our midwife for almost 8 years and delivered all of our girls. She knows us well and has become a great friend and fellow Christian. She kept telling me that she’d be home my 9 pm, which meant I’d go quick. I wasn’t so sure. They started my IV and got it on the first stick, then capped it off.

They wheeled me in a wheelchair to the labor room. They offered me a gown and I declined, I’d rather birth in my own clothes, thank you very much. They double checked that I wanted no pain medication. They hooked me up to the monitor and I sat there in bed. Jeremiah kind of paced. At this point I was scared. My contractions had dwindled to almost nothing and were very spread out. I was thinking that this was probably going to be an 8am birth at this rate. Again, I was super annoyed with my body. This was supposed to go fast!!!!

After 20 or 30 mins on the monitor Kim told me she had saw 2 drops in baby’s heart rate that were a little concerning, enough to keep me on the monitor. I knew this was necessary but the LAST place I want to be in labor is in bed. Kim knows this about me and said I should sit on the birthing ball for awhile and I could still be monitored. I sat there and bounced, rolled and did pelvic rocks and talked to Kim about women’s health physical therapy, her kids, what I wanted to eat after labor, etc etc. My contractions had slowed to every 5 or 6 minutes. They hurt some, but between them I was bored. Why was this taking so LONG?! (Looking back, at this time I think we had been at the hospital a whole hour, so it wasn’t really that long). I told Kim my concerns but she said that contractions don’t always have to be right after another to deliver, and that I might be surprised. We joked that I hoped this would be a Quick Bix and not a marathon.

Kim said she was going to give me a ‘smell of pitocin’ which means she hooked me up to the lowest dose available. I’m a very naturalistic birther and really don’t like intervention, but at this point I knew this could help. I wanted a baby already!

Within a few minutes, contractions were stronger and a bit closer. I was still sitting on the ball. They let me up to go to the bathroom then Kim suggested I try hands and knees to see if this would put more pressure on my cervix and speed things along. Lucy and Ruth were both born in this position so I was all about it. Instantly I had stronger contractions. I was getting noisy at this point and a bunch of people showed up. I looked over my shoulder and saw that sterile blue cart that they bring in when you’re about to deliver. Jeremiah was at my side, letting me have the death grip that I needed on his hand and arm and he kept telling me what a great job I was doing. I think I had maybe 15-20 mins of contractions in this position then felt really pushy. I threw up and thought I was going to die, literally. The pain was so bad. Kim suggested I roll to a reclined position but I told them I was staying where I was. 2 nurses gave me counterpressure on my hips and Kim kept encouraging me and telling me ‘strong work Sarah!!’. She checked me again and said 8cm, almost complete and then tried a maneuver to slide a lip of cervix over the baby’s head. I started bawling between contractions but it didn’t last more than a few seconds and I was pushing……once….twice….and I felt the baby’s head slide out. I thought I was done but all these people who suddenly appeared told me to keep going! Keep pushing! I did as told and heard the baby cry! A nurse announced 7:47pm. 2.75 hours from start to finish. YES!!!!!! Jeremiah had disappeared so I knew he had caught the baby. (He’s caught all the kids except Amelia, which was my fault because I couldn’t release the death grip). I was SO RELIEVED at this point and started crying myself. I was still on my hands and knees, with all my clothes still on and my skirt hiked up. They handed the baby up to me between my knees and I announced she was a girl! We had all guessed this baby was a boy, so another girl was quite a surprise! I was elated with either one, and just completely relieved that labor and delivery was over. She had great color and was still crying. She looked perfect! Kim waited until the cord stopped pulsing then clamped it and Jeremiah cut it. Then I carefully and painfully turned over and sat on the high part of the bed while she checked me out. No tears, no stitches! I have never had stitches due to birth and was exceptionally happy that this was the case again. All those deep squats I did paid off!!!!

The nurses kept pushing on my belly and that was intense pain all over again. I realize the importance of this but it still hurts a LOT. I delivered the placenta and I told Kim I wanted to see it. That thing is absolutely AMAZING. We commented that the ‘tree of life’ image in the placenta would make a great art piece. I kind of wished I had a print of it!

We decided on Kateri for a name, which was our top choice, and because I didn’t think she looked like any of the other secondary options we had decided on. Kateri checked out great and weighed in at 8lbs 1 oz. We are completely in LOVE with our new baby girl!

I always feel incredibly blessed to have such an amazing husband and midwife to guide and support me through birth. They are nothing short of incredible and I am exceedingly blessed. A beautiful birth for a beautiful girl!!!

 

 

If you’re in the mood for more birth stories:

Ruth’s birth story

Amelia’s birth story

Lucy’s birth story

Gabriel’s birth story

 

Sunday Six: 7/22/18

Yipes! It’s been awhile.

Apparently 2 months of the summer has already flown by and also has my consistency with blogging! We have had a very full and fun summer thus far and now we are unpatiently anxiously awaiting the arrival of #5. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

  1. I was determined that this summer we were going to travel. I’ve frequently felt that travelling while uber pregant (which is basically every other year for us) or with a baby under 1 year (again, every other year for the past 9 years) is too difficult. Well I cracked that code this summer and we had 2 great trips! In June J had a conference in San Diego, CA, so we took a few extra days and with the generous help of Nana and Papa, got a parent’s only vaca. Say what!?!?! The last time that happened was 3 years and 2 kids ago! We ate some great food, saw all the sights and enjoyed our time in CA. It took a bit longer to get there than should have (missed a flight for the first and hopefully last times in our lives!) and I was of course delayed to get home (gate changes, flight delays, a man having to be apprehended and removed from the plane right before takeoff), but overall it was a great trip.  Then, at the beginning of July we packed up and drove to see The Ark Encounter in Kentucky. This did not disappoint! This is something that I’ve wanted to see and take the kids to for 2 years now (it was built in 2016) and it was a great experience. You go through the entire inside museum and there are some outdoor activities on the grounds as well. We also toured the Creation Museum as well as the National Museum of the Air Force. The kids frequented the hotel pool nightly and did better than expected on the 7 hr trip each way. We ate some amazing local BBQ (kids eat free—we’ll be back!!) and Mexican.  Black Betty the van was AMAZING to travel in! So much room!!! There was 8 of us total and everyone was comfortable in the 11 available seats + cargo room. Have van, will travel!

 

2. Today is Jeremiah and my 12th anniversary. It apparently doesn’t feel a day over 13 years, as I had been thinking for a month it was 13 today, not 12. Thanks Aunt Mel for showing me the math 😉 I guess that’s pregnancy brain for you! 12 years has been an amazing journey and I really can’t ask for a better marriage. I mean that. I was hoping we might have an anniversary baby, but it’s not appearing that way, which leads me to…

3. Today I am 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant. Read: today I am uber pregnant and uncomfortable and might come across as something other than nice. I hit a turning point about 2 weeks ago. I started not sleeping well, I sweat all the time, the baby dropped so my pelvis hurts more, I have started having intermittent shooting pain into my legs, my belly feels like it cannot possibly stretch any further, I have 5 outfits that somewhat fit, and I just feel cranky. I’ve given up on wearing anything other than skirts or dresses because the tightness around my belly and hips becomes unbearable. I grimace and hobble directly from bed to the shower each morning because I cannot move when I wake up; everything from my upper back to my thighs hurt and ache and a shower is the only thing that seems to help some. It’s quite an unpleasant sight, and feeling. Aunt Mel vouches that I get very very cranky right before I go into labor, so I’m seeing that become more near. I’m hoping for a quick labor similar to Ruth’s, so maybe waiting until closer to my due date will help with that. We’ll see. Until then I’ll be walking every night and doing lots of pelvic tilts and squats.

4. We have all things baby ready, and I’ve realized that I’ve become quite the minimalist in the newborn department. We bought a new sit-n-stand stroller and I have a shelf full of newborn and size 1 diapers, but the rest we just pulled out from storage and washed. I’ve got a stack of each boy and girl newborn clothes, a rock’n’play bassinett and a bouncer. The car seat is installed in the van. That’s a wrap.

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The new ride. Ruth doesn’t realize that she’ll soon be booted to the back to make room for the infant seat that conveniently locks in 😉 Amelia does realize that she’s not riding much longer

5. I realized yesterday that I’ve spent a considerable amount of my summer carting my kids around to their social activities. What a life they lead! They’ve of course had a vacation with all of us, went/going to VBS, swimming  lessons, summer reading intensive, summer book camp, numerous birthday parties (G had 4 in one day last month!), baseball/softball seasons, camping, spoiling individual weekend with Aunt Mel, piano recital, horse riding lessons, riding the go-cart and have eaten popsicles every day because that’s how we roll. School resumes in 4 weeks and you better believe I’ve already bought those supplies because yes, you can get them in your grocery pick up order! Anyhoo, they are loving summer and I like the slower pace now that ball season is over!

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They’re so cute!

6. J is 2 days away from turning in his final project for his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. He will be licensed as a pre-k through 12th grade principal or special education supervisor. (!!!!) We are all very happy that he will no longer have weekly class or assignments to complete on the weekends. We were just talking about how he started this degree 1 week before Ruth was born and will complete in right before (or after?) baby 5 is born. Timing….  He’s very happy to have his time back and has already completed a small addition to the treehouse and some of my honey-do’s around the house. I am so proud of him, his perseverance and determination to get this degree and his completion of it! Having 4 kids underfoot while writing papers, reading research, preparing presentations, attending 3 hrs of class weekly all while holding down a full time job is no small feat! CONGRATS TO HIM!!!

 

Friday Five: 5/4/18

  1. I never got around to writing a post on Gabriel’s 1st Communion, so I’ll just lump that right in here. Being Catholic, 1st Communion is a big deal. Gabriel has been looking forward to this for a long time, and I am so happy and proud that he understands the importance of communion and appreciates/believes in what he is partaking. This day was so special for our family! We had an amazing turnout of family to support Gabriel at Mass and a great party afterwards. Gabriel got a ton of very generous and neat gifts. We got him this Action Bible (This is a really cool book, highly recommend for anyone who likes comic books especially!!!) and another really cool gift was this Lego Mass set. Can hardly believe my little boy is so grown up!!

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2. Lucy turned 7! Yet another thing I can hardly believe! Lucy had school on her birthday, and I surprised her and showed up to eat lunch with her. You should have seen the look on her face! PS-Our kids’ school lunch is actually really good…. So for the kids’ birthdays we usually let them pick whether they would like to have a friend party or have J and I take them out for a one-on-one day/evening date. Lucy chose the later and I couldn’t have been happier. I much prefer to do the date than throw a party! So Lucy requested that we go out for sushi (no, not kidding, and she loved it!). After that we decided to go ice skating (I sat out and watched, of course, no ice skating for this preggo) and also got ice cream. Lucy was tickled to hold hands with both of us all night and she so enjoyed the one on one time. It was the perfect evening until our sitter text us that G cut his head open….never a dull moment!

Lucy also got some new spectacles for her birthday and she looks so great in them!  (Thanks Aunt Mel!!)

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3. We have entered into baseball/softball season. I really enjoy watching my kids in their activities!! I do have to admit that I really like watching baseball/softball over other things (ahem, wrestling) probably because it’s nicer outside than in a gym(?). G and L are both playing, so we have games to attend 3-4 nights/week for the next 8 weeks. I’m all good with that except that one can only eat sandwiches for dinner so many times and our chairs stink! We are in the market for some new seating this year, because we are using some we’ve had since we got married that have seen better days, and this 5-times-pregnant body needs a decent place to sit. I’m coveting these chairs because they’re amazing, that’s all.

4. Not to keep bragging up on my kids, but Gabriel WROTE A SONG for the piano! Talk about being a proud mama! He’s going to play it for a recital that the kids have coming up. He’s starting to learn to play chords and practices all. the. time for about 2 mins at a time. Hey, I won’t complain. The kid who I thought wouldn’t like piano has really taken a liking to it. I keep planting the seed in their heads that Gabriel, Lucy, and J could totally be a family act and do cantoring/accompanying with piano at church by the time they’re in high school. They’re considering it 😉

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5. Almost 27 weeks with this pregnancy! It really is flying by, but I know that the last trimester is literally 15 months long, soooo we’ll see how that goes. We have yet to agree on a boy’s name, but have oodles of girls names that we both like. Each pregnancy gets a little harder to name babies, because, well, I’m married to a teacher. That’s another whole post in itself. I’m starting to wake at night with the dreaded leg cramps. I woke up at midnight last night with my great toe stuck straight up in the air and a muscle in the front of my lower leg on fire! OUCH!!!!! Why does that have to happen?! People are repeatedly asking me when I’m due because the belly is mega-size already. I have been able to walk for exercise at least some this time around, which wasn’t doable with my last pregnancy, so that’s a plus. I’m getting slower, can’t eat as much, moving is more difficult, and my pelvis almost breaks in two when I roll over in bed. It’s actually kind of frightening when it audibly clunks where it shouldn’t. With each pregnancy I have the same problem spots in my pelvis. Anyhoo, I’m feeling a lot more baby movements, which is enjoyable! I snagged a baptismal gown the other day because the price was right and it’s uber pretty, although it is very girly so it has a 50/50 chance of getting worn this go-around. Other than that we have bought nothing baby gear/clothing related, and I don’t think we should have to, which is nice. I may start stockpiling diapers when the nesting bug hits, which I expect to be soon 😉

The kids are all right

Returning from my blogging hiatus for an update on my children. Because 1) I haven’t done this kind of post in awhile 2) they are doing some seriously awesome things that I want to be able to look back on in years to come 3) I have an unprecedented case of ‘pregnancy brain’ this go around and my memory is similar to a goldfish… So here goes:

Gabriel, 8 years and 9 months

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Gabriel is growing up so quickly. He solved the Rubics cube several times in the past few weeks and competed in a school wide Rubics cube competition this week and did well! We are awaiting to see if he made it on the school’s team, which will then go to the state competition. G is doing awesome in school. His mind never ever stops turning. Google helps answer the questions that J and I have no clue about, lately he’s been asking about how teeth are formed, what is the Bermuda Triangle, if Noah’s Ark has been found, why gluten is fed to cows, where the remains of the cross were discovered, etc etc. He never stops! He’s pulling scores 4 grades above his current grade in math and science, and is right on track with reading. He has woken at 5:45am the past 2 mornings. (why?!?!) This kid loves the trampoline and wrestling/roughhousing with the neighbor boys. He hates when I make him change him clothes because he couldn’t care less if his shoes were mismatched or if his shirt was on backwards for an entire day. He never stops EATING. He still enjoys building stuff, from Legos to bridges/towers vs fans at school. He was psyched to get the 2-year award at the wrestling banquet this year and is looking forward to baseball starting shortly! He’s also taken up piano and after only a few weeks is playing recognizable tunes. When he grows up he currently aspires to be an engineer/priest 😉

Lucy, 6 years and 11 months

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Lucy is a very interesting person. This kid LOVES art like it’s her air. She finished a session of 2 art lessons with a local artist and was inspired even more, if that’s possible. Lucy is an amazing student. She’s had perfect report cards this whole year. She’s reading way above her grade level and truly enjoys reading, which makes her bookworm mama happy. Her current favorites are Owl Diaries series that she finishes in about an hour each. She’s also playing piano and doing well. She’s already started borrowing her friend’s clothes (what the what??) and wants to go out for sushi for her *ahem* 7th birthday next month. She’s a very sensitive girl and internalizes almost everything. She’s become attached to our rabbits and says prayers for them almost every night. She’s excited to play real softball this spring. She makes homemade cards for the garbage man, our priest, various family members, her friends, teachers, and her parents. She is slow as MOLASSES in the mornings. When she’s all grown up, Lucy would like to be an artist. If that doesn’t work out, a K-LOVE singer. And if all else fails, a veterinarian. 😉

Amelia, 4 years and 4 months

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Kitchen helper extraordinaire, this one. We MUST bake every Wednesday and Friday as soon as she gets off the preschool bus, and she’s now allowed to cut vegetables with a butter knife.  Amelia is a very persistent child and talks nonstop. Her speech is getting so much better with speech therapy, it’s amazing. Amelia loves books, bouncing, running, anything in the kitchen, playing with friends, her toy birds named Angie and Rainbow, the trampoline, lacing cards and glitter markers. Amelia is like a sponge at this age, I love it. You can almost see her just soaking everything up and she’s blunt and honest. She’s very sweet and also very emotional. Some days I do believe that she cries more than she doesn’t. She has 2 volumes: home=LOUD and school=appropriate tones. We’re working on that. She races to be the first one dressed in the morning and occasionally wins, but otherwise cries. She loves to wear ‘high heels’ on Sundays to church and always fights to sit next to me at dinner. She ends all questions with ‘yes?!’ hoping that I will answer in her favor. She’s decided that when she grows up she would like to own a bakery possibly specializing in cupcakes and also be a horse-riding-girl. 😉

Ruth, 1 year and 6 months

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And next up is the resident climber of the House. I sure do hope that this stage has an end, because my house is only so tall and I only have so many places to put things up. It goes like this: Ruth dumps the crayon bucket that contains approximately 50,000 crayons. I put the bucket in a locking tote. She figures out how to open it, dumps them again. I move the bucket to the middle of the dining room table. She moves a chair, climbs, dumps. I put them on top of the piano. She find a step stool, scales the piano and dumps. The step stools are banished to the stairway, locked behind a baby gate. She somehow fanagles that gate and gets a step stool, with her next stop being the kitchen island. Here she eats whole oranges out of the bowl and pushes anything and everything onto the floor until her mother becomes a raging lunatic that the climbing MUST STOP. Ruth is a really fun age, albeit being difficult to take to libraries, stores, anywhere with shelves. Her favorite thing to do secondary to climbing is to play and explore outside. She would be out there all day, as long as the snow isn’t too deep that she can walk. She loves seeing animals and is especially fond of dogs. She’s excellent at cleaning out mixing bowls. She enjoys walking the kids into school and despises the vacuum cleaner. She’s very good at ripping/coloring on/hiding library books but squeals when they have flaps or sliders. She no longer will sit in her high chair (another climbing apparatus) but prefers the table chair. I often catch Ruth in the bathroom attempting to eat toothpaste or clean the toilet. And today I saw her dip her toothbrush into the bathwater. When she grows up she wants to be a rock climber 😉

Baby Five, 21 weeks gestation

I have yet to meet this child face to face, but I do know that he/she is hungry! This baby enjoys laying still and quiet for the majority of the day, but then comes alive at 5am. This baby does not tolerate much of his/her mama’s activity, as I’ve learned to deal with in the past pregnancies. A short time of doing things around the house and I feel terrible. Baby prefers my new copper-infused compression stockings (thanks Prime!) and has contributed to the audible clunk in my pelvis with every step I take. This baby prefers I take a nap a few times a week. This baby has yet to have a name that either of us can agree on, and this is starting to give me stress. This baby has taken the usual shape of a basketball in my abdomen. 😉

Have a Blessed Tridiium!

Friday Five: 2/23/18

1. On account of my pregnancy induced lack of energy or motivation of anything other than food or good books, winter in Iowa, and J trying to finish his grad school work up this spring, we haven’t been doing a ton of stuff lately. All that being said, a few weekends ago we did venture out to a local snowshoe and ice fishing day, and the big kids got to go ice fishing on another separate day where they caught 12 fish! The kids love fishing, and of course it’s a ton more fun when you actually catch something.

Snow shoeing, however, was not their bag and we didn’t last too long on that particular day. Ruth voiced her opinion loud and clear that she was not a fan of ANYTHING involving snow. Note taken….

We are going to try our hand at maple syrup making at a local environmental center tomorrow from start to finish, so we’ll see how sticky everyone can get in a few short hours. I’ll let ya know.

2.Books, books…where do I start? I’m on book 5 of my 30 goal (YES!) and I left the library with 4 more today…I’m such a sucker. And I apparently don’t want to get anything else done this weekend. O well.

Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox Not what I was expecting and honestly, this was a struggle to finish, but I was so far in I figured I might as well bite the bullet. Talks a lot about his career in acting as well as his political stance on stem cell research and work with the Michael J Fox Foundation. There is a small section about his faith and family and living with Parkinson’s, which I found the most enticing out of the entire book.

Left to Tell by Immaculée IlibagizaOOOOO where do I start, this one was good. Jeremiah actually told me he thought I would enjoy this book and boy was he was right! The Rwandan holocaust happened in 1994 which was mind blowing to me to begin with, as it was not long ago. I would have been 9 years old when this was happening. This story takes place from then till now, following Immaculee’s journey into hiding in a 3×7 foot bathroom with 7 other women in complete silence for (brace yourself) 3 MONTHS without being found or killed by the Interahamwe killers, all the while she taught herself English and prayed nonstop, until present day where she works for the UN. What a story she has to tell! Fascinating, terrifying and I could not put it down.

Instant Mom by Nia VardalosThe cover of this drew me in for a closer look, honestly. The star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding tells her story of 13 failed IVF treatments, to repeated failed adoptions, to finally adopting a 2 year old daughter out of foster care. This one pulled at my mom heartstrings and was funny and real. I plowed through this one in 3 days and found it to be an uplifting read.

3.Ah, Amazon Prime, how do I love thee? Along with Prime and Walmart grocery pickup, I haven’t had to physically go in a store more than 1 or 2 times per month. This is awesome for me, as I have spent much less money and really only order what we need. (novel idea, I know!) Also less impulse buys, time and gas money saved, and my sanity kept a little closer in check. Amelia has figured out the regular routes of the UPS and FedEx drivers, arriving in the morning or afternoon, respectively, and she will spot them in our neighborhood and expect them to stop and drop off a package. She often meets them at the door, and it’s quite comical. My latest orders have included anything from a new maternity dress (awesome find, by the way) to ceiling fan light bulbs to vitamins to ‘ginormous’ packs of diapers. Here Ruth is with today’s delivery, she’s thrilled: 20180223_115058.jpg

4. I am incredibly ready for winter to be over. I long to sit on my front porch and listen to the birds, go on a walk without the deathly fear that I will slip and add my fall count to 3 for this winter, plant our garden and go camping. But what I especially look forward to? The putting away of all of the winter gear. Oh my heavens it is everywhere. We’ve tried many ways to corral the coats, hats, snow pants, gloves, mittens, headbands, boots….. you get the point. I drug in a big black 4×6 foot rug and put it in the corner of the kitchen for all the wet things. I like having a spot for everything, but when everything is constantly soaking wet or muddy, there ain’t no place for that. Hence the rug. And now the rug is just covered with it all and you can’t walk through that way. Ayayay. There’s also the barrage 5 days/week of making sure everyone has everything for outdoor play as well as appropriate inside clothes and shoes that match. Lucy has started wearing mismatched gloves and I couldn’t care less. Spring can’t come soon enough.

5.Pregnancy 5….I have been neglecting any kind of pregnancy update, so I’ll just tack that on right here. My belly is big. At my 16 week visit this week, my favorite baby catcher declared that I’m an ‘easy case’, the baby’s heart rate was 158ish and scheduled my anatomy scan {already!? Time is flying!}.  People always ask me heart rates, but my kids have all been all over the board, so I have no inclination as to what that means. I do however have the feeling this is a boy. I did also have the same feeling in 2013 when I gave birth to a girl, sooooo we’ll see how this pans out. We’re good either way, and no we have not agreed on anything more than 1 girl name that Gabriel declares he does not like. I am feeling a lot better nausea wise, have fully switched to stretchy pants and shirred shirts, sleep alot and wake up still tired, eat all the time, find my work days to be a bit too long, and find it important that I research new diapers bags. You know, having 2 in diapers again after a 5 year hiatus of just 1 at a time totally accounts for a new bag, right!? Speaking of, I’m considering starting to stockpile #5’s diapers as I am not going to even attempt cloth diapers this time around. That ship has sailed, sadly. G was full time cloth, L was 99% cloth, Amelia was 50% cloth (when she didn’t have a rash, which was all the time), and R got 3 days of cloth I believe. *ahem* I just don’t have the time anymore to add another 2 or 3 loads of diapers a week to the already constant stream of laundry we have. I sold all our cloth diapers about a year ago, except for 2 that I kept, for some odd reason. Like I’m really going to use just 2 cloth diapers….. Time to pass the torch to a mommy who has less than 10 loads of laundry per week. Any takers?? 😉

Have a great weekend!