Saturday, June 29, 2013

Triplet Nursery Tour

I couldn't find any good blog posts about practical triplet nurseries, so I had to devise my own plan.  There is no real theme to the room and we stuck with gender neutral colors (cream and green).  I used polka dot accents throughout the room to keep it playful and colorful.  We are fortunate to have a very large space available, as we converted our bonus room to the nursery.  Previously, the bonus room had a couch bed, oversized chair with ottoman, bookshelves, filing cabinet, and desk with computer and printer.  After some serious rearranging of furniture, we cleared out the space to make room for babies!  Here is a 360 degree layout of our nursery, starting with the closet.
 
The closet was my biggest headache.  We have a walk-in closet, but there is a lot of wasted space that you cannot access easily.  The closet extends another five feet to the left of what the picture shows.  We used that space to stack storage bins full of sorted clothes (i.e. girls 3-6, boys 3-6, etc).  The top shelf also has hundreds of diapers going as far back as the wall.
 
We have been blessed with hundreds of donated clothing items for both girls and boys.  In fact, we had to donate some of the clothes we received because there were simply too many!  Over Spring Break I had family and friends sorting clothes like a little sweat shop.  While I think it's adorable to hang all the cute dresses and overalls, I won't have time to spend hanging clothes.  I decided on the more practical grab-and-go bins.  I bought 9 large bins from Ikea and my sisters helped organize and label the clothes into logical bins.  The bins are organized as follows:
  • boy sleepers
  • swaddlers
  • girl sleepers
  • receiving blankets/burp cloths
  • newborn girl onesies and dresses
  • newborn girl pant sets/shirts
  • gender neutral onesies
  • newborn boy onesies/rompers
  • newborn boy pants/shirts
Underneath the shelves of bins are two dressers that are organized in a similar fashion.  They contain 0-3 month clothes.  One dresser is all boy clothes; the other is all girl clothes.  Currently, we have a full boy's wardrobe through 24 months (thanks to Jackson and his cousin) and a full girl's wardrobe through 9 months that are neatly packed away in storage bins.
 
The baskets on top of the dressers have shoes and socks.  There is a clothes hamper right beside the dressers.
 

Immediately to the right of the closet is the door to access the hallway and staircase.  On the other side of the door is the play area.  I received this fun storage furniture that we'll be able to use as the triplets get older.  Currently, the bins are full of baby friendly items such as burp clothes, bibs, board books, stuffed animals, teething toys, and toys to promote crawling.  Jackson has more toys than he knows what to do with that we will be able to rotate to the triplets once he outgrows them.  Since the walls are a plain cream color, I wanted bright polka dots and lettering along the walls.


Alongside the largest wall is the play area, swings, and recliner.  Once again, as the babies age out of the swings we will place exersaucers, walking toys, etc. against the wall.  The large windows allow for a tremendous amount of sunlight to shine through, so we bought energy-efficient black out curtains.  (The curtains were open in the other pictures, making the room appear much brighter.  This picture obviously makes the room look darker since the curtains are closed.) 

 
Continuing to the right, you will see the changing station located in the corner.  This is the same changing table we used with Jackson.  We will do a combination of cloth and disposable diapers.  (I refuse to buy any disposable diapers, but we have received over 1,000 disposables at baby showers that we might as well use.)  There are six green bins that are filled with:
  • newborn fitted cloth diapers
  • small Thirsties covers
  • disposable diapers
  • related linens (pail liner, extra changing pad cover, small wetbags)
  • baby wipes
  • extra inserts for nighttime diapers
There is a small diaper pail behind the recliner that will be emptied daily.
 

The girls' cribs are located together in an L shape.  They have matching polka dot sheets at the moment with pink bedskirts.  We have 9 sets of sheets that we will use interchangeably on all of the mattresses. All cribs have green Breathable mesh bumpers.  A glider is located beside the girls' cribs.  We wanted a glider and a recliner so Jesse and I could both rock the babies to sleep or take care of midnight feedings at the same time.  There are boppy pillows next to both chairs.


Finally, James' crib is in the corner.  This crib also has a polka dot sheet and a green mesh bumper.  Above each crib hangs the custom name art I made.  The small door provides access to the attic, which of course has a childproof lock on it.  We have a few bouncers throughout the room as well.  On the other side of James' crib is the closet, which brings us back to where we started.

 
 
The only thing not pictured in this nursery tour is a mini-fridge, which has been added since I took these pictures.  (It is blocking the attic door beside the glider.)  My wise mother-in-law thought it would be a good idea to keep bottles of breastmilk and/or formula ready to go.  Other triplet moms have also suggested placing a crock-pot on top to use as a bottle warmer for middle of the night feedings.  I'm certain I won't have the energy or sense to go downstairs every two hours to prepare bottles, so I'm excited to take advantage of this convenience. 

Just in case you are wondering, we did our best to divide the furniture between both floors.  We also have a pack-n-play with changing station, two swings, two exerscaucers, and a bouncer downstairs.  All extra crib sheets, baby towels, and extra receiving blankets are in the hallway linen closet upstairs.
 
 

8 Months Pregnant



How Far Along: 32 Weeks
 
Symptoms:  heartburn, minor swelling of hands and feet, painful swelling in lower stomach, stretch marks have taken over, stomach and boobs are violently itchy

Energy: I keep up with household chores of sweeping, steam mopping,  doing dishes, cooking dinner, etc.  I am having a harder time grocery shopping or navigating Wal Mart without my stomach tensing up (Braxton Hicks).  I think I have more energy than I really do.

Mood: Anxiety level is increasing as I get further along.  I'm very fearful of the unknown, which is pretty much everything at this point! 

Cravings: The #1 thing I want is crushed ice.  I fill cup after cup with icy water and eat the ice by the spoonful.  Chick-Fil-A habit became too expensive, so I'm back to enjoying my Carnation chocolate milk and protein bars. 

Movement:  The babies must still have room since they are changing positions, but the movements are more subtle.  I can still watch them roll across parts of my belly.
 
Sleep: My heartburn is back with a vengeance, mostly when I lay down at night.  I toss and turn all night and am pretty wide awake around 4-5 a.m.  My stomach is an anchor that weighs me down.

Maternity Clothes:  I've already outgrown the shirts I bought last month, so I'm sticking to dresses and yoga pants with my 2X Fire Bowl t-shirt.  School just ended so I don't have to worry about my wardrobe anymore.
 
What I miss:  Playing with Jackson on the floor, rocking with him in the recliner, bathing him
 
Concerns: Jackson has become increasingly more aggressive towards the babies and I.  He clearly favors Jesse and won't include me in his night time routine anymore.  I don't know how he's going to transition once the babies are born.  : (

OB notes:  I have searched throughout the state trying to find a doctor who will "allow" me to deliver vaginally.  I've only found two OB's in the entire state who are willing, but they both require me to relocate to their city for close monitoring once I reach 34 weeks.  That limits my options to hospital bedrest or renting a hotel room, neither of which is affordable or feasible with a two year old. 
 
At 31 weeks, my fundal height was 48 cm!  At 32 weeks, the babies are weighing over 13 pounds (right around 4 and 1/2 lbs each) and my cervical length was 3.2 cm. 
 

Best Moment this Month:  Everything is finally coming together!  I am on full time maternity leave.  I just submitted National Boards.  We had our final baby shower (Jesse's work) and received an impressive amount of gift cards and miscellaneous baby items that we used towards to nursery.  We finished the nursery in a productive 72 hour whirlwind.  Jesse traded in his beloved Prius for a 2008 Honda Odyssey on Memorial Day. 


Nursery Progress: My amazing sisters came over and took charge of the closet.  All of the sorted clothes are in easily accessible, labeled bins.  We received an overwhelming amount of furniture from family and friends and assembled everything.  I went to work on decorating with name art and wall decals.  I love it!

7 Months Pregnant



How Far Along: 28 Weeks
 
Symptoms:  started getting Braxton Hicks contractions, having difficulty breathing as Madeline is transverse under my ribs, having to pee all the time since James is pressing on my bladder.  The worst part about having to pee is that I must not be emptying my bladder because I literally have to pee again 10 minutes later.  I had severe back pain (after sleeping in a hotel room without my body pillow) that required an immediate chiropractor visit.

Energy: It's hard to physically get out of bed in the mornings, but I feel energized once I've had breakfast and am at work.  By the time I get home I'm ready to crash!  Teaching for only 5 hours is becoming draining.

Mood: Jackson has been testing my patience in every possible way.  Terrible twos + pregnancy hormones is not a good combination!  He goes back and forth between clingy and hating the babies and I. 
 
Cravings: I have gone through the Chick-Fil-A drive through on my way home more times than I should admit.  Did you know that a #1 (chicken sandwich) on wheat, no pickle, unsweet tea, and 2 bbq sauces costs exactly $6.38? 

Movement:  My uterus is less of a boxing ring and more of a gymnastics mat.  I don't feel individual jabs as much as I feel entire bodies rotating.  It looks like my stomach is doing the wave.
 
Sleep: I wake up every 2 hours around the clock.  It's so predictable I don't even have to check what time it is (10, 12, 2, 4, 6).  It's seriously becoming difficult and downright painful to switch sides.

Maternity Clothes:  After outgrowing many of my shirts, I bought a few shirts at Ross.  Since most of my pants are low-rise (simply because they flap over from the weight of my belly), I have to make sure my shirts are long enough to cover everything. 
 
What I miss:  teaching science.  I'm thankful to have the time off and flexibility to work half days, but I love science and hate that I don't get to teach it anymore.  I also miss my afternoon hugs from each student on the way to the busses.
 
Concerns: Now that I'm in the third trimester, I'm starting to feel that time is against me when it comes to finishing baby preparations.  We still don't have enough car seats, a van, or an assembled nursery.

OB notes:  I'll continue with weekly appointments throughout my pregnancy. At 26 weeks, the babies were weighing just over 2 lbs each and my cervical length was 3.8 cm.  My fundal height is 44 cm.  I haven't had any signs of pre-eclampsia as my blood pressure has never been above120/80 and I've never had protein in my urine.
 
Best Moment this Month:  Getting the call that I passed my glucose test at 26 weeks!  Once again, I avoided the 3 hour test.  To celebrate, I ate 2 bowls of ice cream.
 
Nursery Progress: Clothes have been sorted by size and gender.  They are in giant piles around the room.  I had my second baby shower (hosted by sisters and Elizabeth) where I received a few more baby items and money for a feeding table.
 
 

Friday, June 28, 2013

6 Months Pregnant



How Far Along: 24 Weeks-Viability!!!
 
Symptoms:  Mostly size related--difficulty bending over, picking things up, carrying Jackson up the stairs, turning over in bed, getting up off the floor, etc

Energy: I tire quickly.  Mornings are my most productive times.

Mood: Now that I'm working half days and have less stress, I am much less irritable!

Cravings: In an effort to consume more protein, I started adding the Carnation Breakfast Essentials chocolate powder to my milk.  Breakfast has become my favorite meal and I look forward to my chocolate milk and dry cereal.  I'm also enjoying protein bars, grilled cheese, and chicken parmesan.

Movement:  Constant kicking!
 
Sleep: waking every 2-3 hours, staring at the clock for at least 15 minutes trying to go back to sleep, having more difficulty changing positions

Maternity Clothes:  I have almost outgrown several maternity outfits that I wore when I was full term with Jackson. 
 
What I miss:  April.  My sister-in-law died completely unexpectedly.  Words can't express my anger, guilt, and sorrow.  I know this has nothing to do with my pregnancy, but it consumes me.
 
Concerns: When to go on full time maternity leave, how it will impact my insurance, and how we will afford health insurance for the babies.  I had my baby shower at work and was given $100 in gift cards and over 30 annual leave/sick days donated from co-workers.  This means I could stop working next week and have the entire time as paid leave.  I just don't know how it will affect my FMLA and Parental Leave.  I also want to stay with my students throughout End of Grade tests.

OB notes:  I continue to have weekly appointments, alternating between the MFM and OB.  At 23 weeks, the babies were weighing over a pound and my cervical length was 3.8 cm.  At 24 weeks, my fundal height is officially 40 cm!
 
Best Moment this Month:  I am now on intermittent maternity leave, meaning I work half days (7:30-noon).  I am loving these afternoon naps and ice cream sessions before picking up Jackson!  We also were able to celebrate Jackson's birthday and Easter this month.
 
 
Nursery Progress: During Spring Break we began upstairs renovations.  In honor of Jackson turning 2 this month, we got rid of his pacifier cold turkey and completely changed his bedroom.  We exchanged the crib for a twin size bed, moved the recliner and changing table into the nursery, and added a toy storage and book shelves to his room. What used to be the guest room is now our office/study.  All of the guest bedroom furniture was donated and we purchased a shelving unit for our plethora of books.  While the actual nursery is a disaster, we've made a ton of progress on clearing space for the babies!
 
 

5 Months Pregnant



How Far Along: 20 Weeks
 
Symptoms:  hips and pelvis hurt occasionally, increasingly short of breath with physical activity, having a hard time staying hydrated, which leads to headaches

Energy: just now starting to feel fatigue again.  We do the Walking Classroom at school where we listen to podcasts and walk a mile around a trail.  The hills are getting a bit harder and I'm slowing down.

Mood: I'm not sure how much of my irritability is due to pregnancy vs desperately needing Spring Break, but I have zero patience in the afternoons.  Administration has been less than supportive of the many behavior problems we deal with on a daily basis and I just don't care by the end of the day.  Spring Break is in two weeks and I am ready!

Cravings: I discovered my new favorite meal by accident last week.  I love chicken parmesan from Ruby Tuesday's.  I recreate this by heating up chicken nuggets in the oven and serving them with penne pasta and marinara sauce.  I eat this at least once a week.

Movement:  My uterus has become a boxing ring!  People always ask if it feels different, and I can definitely say that it's a very unique feeling to feel three different babies all at the same time.  While Jesse can feel movement from the outside now, he will never get the same sensations as I can.  He might have his hand at my ribs and feel Amelia, but then James will kick lower and suddenly Madeline will kick on the side.  It's quite a chain reaction.
 
Sleep: waking every 2-3 hours now and tossing and turning a lot more

Maternity Clothes:  Nothing new, still wearing my favorite dresses, long skirts, and maternity pants with mostly solid colored shirts.
 
What I miss:  carrying Jackson up and down the stairs without needing to recover afterwards, going for long walks
 
Concerns: There has been a lot of drama with police and lawyers over my stolen cell phone and insurance fraud.  At this point, I am considering resigning before I am forced to be suspended.  I don't know what will come of it, but felony charges have been discussed and am not handling the stress very well! 

OB notes:  I have ultrasounds every other week with the MFM, and regular OB appointments on alternating weeks.  That means a doctor's appointment every Monday!  At 19 weeks, the babies were weighing between 9-10 ounces and my cervical length was still 4+ cm.  At 20 weeks, my fundal height is already 36 cm, which means my uterus thinks it's nearly full term.


 
Best Moment this Month:  Feeling so connected to the babies with their strong movements, having other people be able to feel the babies now. 

4 Months Pregnant


How Far Along: 16 Weeks
 
Symptoms:  I'm starting to have lower back and pelvis pain, but I happen to know one of the best chiropractors around.  Also, I am always hungry and start to feel dizzy if I go more than 2 hours without eating. 

Energy: Energy level is pretty good.  Balancing school, Jackson, and cleaning is no more demanding than usual and I'm fine keeping up with everything.

Mood: Feeling pretty optimistic, elated about our GIRLS and BOY!

Cravings: still loving my grilled cheese, peanut butter graham crackers, and protein bars

Movement:  I feel very predictable movements now, but still nothing from the outside.  My little acrobats are busiest at night.
 
Sleep: Still waking up to pee, but am starting to have trouble falling back to sleep right away.

Maternity Clothes Still rocking my wardrobe courtesy of Katie, Christina, and April.  I haven't bought anything new.
 
What I miss:  bicycling--Now that the weather is getting warmer, I'd really like to bike around the neighborhood with Jesse and Jackson.  I'm having a harder time balancing and making it up the hills without panting.
 
Concerns: Making it to viability

OB notes:  I had to drink Glucola and have an early gestational diabetes test at 14 weeks.  Thankfully I passed the first hour and don't have to take the 3-hour test!  The bigger news is that I had an early anatomy scan at 15 weeks.  Each of the babies measured 4 ounces and my cervical length is a whopping 4.5 cm!  You could see the blood flow in the umbilical cord, four chambers of the heart beating, and each of their little profiles.  I felt confident that we would be able to find out the gender so Jesse went to the appointment with me. 
 
Best Moment this Month:  Finding out that we're going to have another son and two daughters!!!

 

3 Months Pregnant


How Far Along: 12 Weeks
 
Symptoms:   round ligament pain.  It hurts to sneeze, cough, laugh, etc.  The nausea subsided around 10 weeks.  I'm still taking Unisom and B6 because I'm afraid to wake up throwing up.  The other major symptom is my internal thermostat is completely broken.  I drape myself in a snuggie and blankets as soon as I get home.

Energy: Over Christmas break I slept a solid 12 hours each night and still napped for 2 hours while Jackson napped.  (Thank you, Jesse!)  I feel like I'm getting my second wind now and an increase in energy.
 
Mood: A two week vacation could not have come at a better time.  I think my hormones are stabilizing and I feel pretty relaxed.

Cravings: I eat several grilled cheese sandwiches each week and a protein bar every day.
 
Movement:  I swear I felt flutters at 11 weeks.  It's nothing predictable, but I occasionally get little feelings like popcorn popping inside of me.
 
Sleep: Sleep is restful, with a few interruptions to pee each night.  The whole family takes naps on the weekends.

Maternity Clothes:  They are a necessity now.  I wear long skirts or maternity pants every day now.  Thankfully, I have tons of maternity shirts from Katie, Christina, and April.
 
What I miss:  Mom and Dad.  I can't imagine their reactions to our triplets.  Mom always said one of us would have twins.  Haha!
 
Concerns: Now that reality is setting in, I'm starting to get nervous about the logistics, especially finances.  I don't know how we're going to afford three babies.  Daycare for four children would literally cost more than my entire paycheck, which means either Jesse or I will have to stay home for at least a year.  I just don't know how we can make things work on one income.
 
OB notes:  I saw the MFM for the first time on New Year's Eve for the NT scan.  They measured the thickness of skin behind each baby's neck.  The ultrasound tech and MFM both said everything looks great and all babies are developing equally.  He explained that if one of the babies was not viable, they could likely detect abnormalities or drastic difference in size.  The MFM did not suggest selective reduction, but I was surprised that he was rather persistent on marriage counseling.  Apparently parents of higher-order multiples have significantly higher divorce rates.
 

 
Best Moment this Month:  The ultrasound on New Year's Eve provided such relief that all three babies were growing and developing exactly how they should be.  I am letting myself fall in love with them now!  We announced the news on Facebook by posting the ultrasound picture.  The response was overwhelming!

2 Months Pregnant--TRIPLETS!!!



How Far Along: 8 Weeks
 
Symptoms:  I feel like a walking Pepto-Bismal commercial (nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea).  My nightly routine includes prenatal vitamin, DHA, Pepcid AC, Unisom, and B6.  I convinced my kids that my SeaBands are pressure points for relaxation.  I still have lots of cramping and round ligament pain.

Energy: Exhaustion is an understatement.  Thankfully, Christmas break just began so I can nap everyday these next two weeks.  I have a general dizzy, weak feeling, especially in the mornings.

Mood: My mood is unpredictable.  It's hard to process having triplets.  I'm irritable, ungrateful, fearful, anxious, elated, shocked, confused, blessed, and relieved all at the same time.  I cry, laugh, talk nonstop, then don't say a word all within the same day.  I think I'm happy but I'm not 100% sure yet.

Cravings: no appetite, but I make sure to eat every few hours.  I have a supply of graham crackers and crunchy peanut butter everywhere (nightstand, pantry, desk at work).  It's the only thing I can seem to tolerate and that little bit of protein keeps me stable.

Movement:  Still too early to feel the baby, but I continue to have lots of pulling and tugging sensations.
 
Sleep: I started waking up with nasty heartburn and nausea, but the Unisom and B6 combo took care of that.  I'm still having crazy vivid dreams, too!

Maternity Clothes I am already starting to develop a bump.  Since I have a full wardrobe in sizes 8-14, I'm just wearing larger sized dress pants and elastic skirts at the moment.

 
 
What I miss:  alcohol!  I sure could have used a margarita (or 3) after our first ultrasound!

Concerns: After the speech about being high-risk, I'm nervous that we will lose one or more of the babies.  It's hard to process because I really don't want triplets and never expected to have triplets.  At the same time, I can't comprehend one of them not surviving.  I'm also worried about all the complications that could arise and having to go on bed rest.
 
OB notes:  Jesse and I went to our ultrasound on Monday, Dec. 10.  At only 6 weeks, I was just hoping to see a heartbeat.  We got the shock of a lifetime when the ultrasound technician said, "You've got a lot of bang for your buck".  I was relieved to see the first heartbeat, really excited and surprised to see the second, and nauseous/dizzy after seeing the third.  All of the color drained from Jesse's face and he was completely silent, while I yelled and laughed hysterically.  The babies had a heartbeat ranging from 111-113 bpm and were measuring between 4-5 mm.
 
 
My OB sat us down and went over all of the scary statistics of viability, complications, bed rest, etc.  He brought up selective reduction as an option and told us that I would need to see a maternal fetal medicine specialist throughout the pregnancy.  Finally, he announced that he was leaving the practice and I would need to see another doctor within the office.
 
Best Moment this Month:  It has been so much fun announcing our news to family and friends.  Everyone has the same shock, but some are loud and expressive while others are completely speechless.  I told my sisters the day we found out, Jesse's parents that weekend, my principal within a week, the entire staff at our holiday staff meeting.  We told our nieces and nephews at the beach this week.

1 Month Pregnant

 
 
 
How Far Along: 4 Weeks
 
Symptoms:  strong metallic taste in my mouth, vivid dreams, already starting to feel nauseous, lots of cramping, hot flashes

Energy: no difference in usual energy level.  I did take a few naps this week, but only because it's Thanksgiving break and I can.

Mood: I've been especially cranky with the students lately, but mostly because this is the class from hell and I'm overwhelmed with starting National Boards.  My classroom is so hot now that they've turned the heat on and I'm just dripping sweat.  I have to open the outside door to get some fresh air.

Cravings: water, mint gum

Movement:  It's way too early to feel a baby but I am having some ridiculous stretching, cramping, pulling, and tugging.  I am waiting to start my period any day now.
 
Sleep: I'm already having vivid, colorful dreams, which is something I only experience while pregnant.

Maternity Clothes I never stopped wearing maternity clothes after Jackson was born.  Most of the time I wear button up jeans or slacks, but I love my black yoga pants and blue or purple maternity shirts on the weekend.
 
What I miss:  na├»ve innocence that every pregnancy goes perfectly and ends with a healthy baby
 
Concerns: I am terrified of this pregnancy ending in another miscarriage.  I won't allow myself to accept anything until I see a heartbeat.

OB notes:  I took 50mg of Clomid on days 2-6 of my cycle.  I had intense hot flashes and sweating right around the time of conception.  We weren't supposed to try to conceive because my OB wanted to regulate my ovulation and monitor progesterone levels.  I got a positive pregnancy test on Friday and called my OB to tell them I was pregnant.  Because of the missed miscarriage, they want to see me early.  I have an ultrasound scheduled for Monday, Dec. 10 after school.  I'll be 6 weeks 1 day.
 
Best Moment this Month:  After feeling very off with no appetite on Thanksgiving, I bought a store-brand pregnancy test while we were shopping at Target on Black Friday.  I took the test while Jesse and Jackson were hanging Christmas decorations outside (Nov. 23).  A very dark line appeared within seconds, even though it hasn't been 4 weeks since my last menstrual period (Oct. 28).  Jesse and I are cautious and detached at the moment, but hopeful.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Woe is Me

You are cordially invited
to attend a Pity Party for
Bonnie Katherine
as she hits "the wall" of her
Triplet Pregnancy
From Wednesday, June 26
until Delivery and Recovery
in Charlotte, North Carolina 

Kleenex, ice packs, and heating pads will be provided.

 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Physical Limitations

Here is what I can and cannot do at 34 weeks pregnant with triplets:

I regularly (at least weekly):

  • drive
  • vacuum
  • steam mop
  • move furniture to sweep under couches
  • shave my legs
  • cook dinner
  • do the dishes
  • feed the cats, rescue them when they escape outside
  • carry Jackson downstairs
  • run errands
  • walk around WalMart or the mall
  • unload groceries
  • shower, dry hair, get dressed, etc
  • play with Jackson on couch or bed (play dough, color, read stories, etc)

I can no longer:

  • bathe Jackson
  • bend over to sweep piles off the floor
  • get out of bed by simply sitting up
  • carry Jackson for more than a few minutes
  • chase, run, roll on the floor, etc with Jackson
  • walk around the neighborhood 
  • rock Jackson to sleep (where he lays on my stomach/chest)
  • change, dress, or play with Jackson on the floor
  • use a non-handicap public restroom (can't close the door)
  • balance on one foot (aka put pants on without holding onto something)
  • paint my toenails 
  • sleep for more than two consecutive hours

Unfortunately, many of the things I am unable to physically do involve Jackson.  He takes his frustration out on me by biting, pinching, and hitting the babies (my belly) and I. He sometimes shouts "No Mommy" or "No babies".  If I reprimand him for his negative behaviors he literally runs away from me and cries "I want Daddy".  His outbursts aren't constant and he shows plenty of affection towards me, but he often won't allow me to pick him up, change his diaper, or play with him.  When he's in his room and in such a mood he screams for "Daddy" and shoves the door on my belly to kick me out.   It's emotionally exhausting to know that you can't care for your son in the way he wants you to, and that he doesn't understand why.  I fear it will get worse before it gets better.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pregnant Fashionista

Okay, okay...anyone who knows me is well aware that such a title could not be farther from the truth.  After outgrowing ALL of my maternity clothes, I was beginning to feel unattractive and isolated.  I already have strangers rubbing my belly, blessing me, praying, asking questions, etc every time I leave the house.  I didn't want to go out in the same black yoga pants and 2x t-shirt feeling like a slob day after day.

Thankfully, most people have no clue that I have a large pocket of fluid that hangs below my bikini line.  (Gross, I know!  It is swollen, bruised, and tender but all doctors have assured me it will go away after delivery.)  Anyway, I get quite self conscious about it and worry when my shirt doesn't cover my entire stomach (all 50+ centimeters of it).

Out of desperation I discovered that short, stretchy dresses make perfect shirts for my giant belly.  I picked up a few $10 dresses at Ross that work perfectly.  They have a bust line so you can actually distinguish my chest from my belly.  They are long enough to cover everything, but clingy enough not to fall to my knees in the back.  Here are my new "shirts"!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Grocery Shopping with a Toddler

Short and sweet today...

The trouble with buying produce at Aldi is that Jackson eats half of it before we check out.  Then he looks at you like, "Can I help you?"


Oh well!  Whatever keeps him in the buggy rather than climbing out, we're content.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

I have a feeling this is the last week I'm going to feel like going on adventures as a family of three.  Next week Jesse has his Advanced Placement training all week and Jackson will be in daycare for one last week.  The following week I will either have babies or be 35 weeks pregnant and probably not able to be on my feet much.  It's been my goal this week to go on a fun family outing each day.

Yesterday we took advantage of the free Airport Overlook to watch the planes land and take off.  Since we live fairly close to the airport, planes are a frequent sighting from our home every 5-10 minutes.  However, it was pretty cool to see the planes from a much closer view.  Jackson was overall happy, though there were some lulls in between take-offs and a few of the bigger planes were frighteningly loud.





Our adventure for today was to visit the local transportation museum to explore various train cars and ride on a train.  Trains have become Jackson's latest obsession.  The museum also had elaborate exhibits with wagons and older cars, but Jackson just kept pointing and yelling "I want trains!" so we trudged forward.  

It says on the website that the museum is "walking intensive".  I was shuffling at a snail's pace and stopping frequently.  I felt like my own mother making the family wait and slow down.  I also had trouble fitting through some of the doors.  Thankfully, my size or pace didn't hinder the level of fun for the boys.


Jackson was pretty timid at first and demanded to be held, but his curiosity won after a while.




The train ride itself was exhilarating for Jackson the first 10 minutes.  After that I think our hunger and exhaustion started to sink in. 


After refueling on a banana, pudding, protein bar, and juice, we all got our second wind.


We spent another half hour exploring a caboose and toddler-friendly play area. 



After nearly three hours, we were off to have a late lunch with MiMi before heading home.  The three of us crashed hard for a late nap as soon as we were home.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sous Chef

Jackson is quite the baker.  He is very helpful adding ingredients to bowls and stirring.  Of course he doesn't know how to measure things precisely or crack eggs yet, but that will come in due time.  Yesterday he helped me make a birthday cake for his MeMe Scott.
 

The best part of baking is licking the bowl.  My mom would never let me do this so it's always a bit of a guilty pleasure for me to scrape the sides.  I could really care less about raw egg, but I still limit our indulgences to a few licks.  I lack self-control when it comes to the icing, though.

 
We took a nap while the freshly baked cake cooled.  I'm not entirely sure what prompted the nudity, but clothes are optional in the summer.  I made a big batch of icing while Jesse got Jackson settled down.  (He hasn't quite mastered dumping powdered sugar and turning on the mixer without us becoming covered in a white dust.)  Then Jack helped frost the crumb coat.
 


Jackson was doing a great job helping until it came time to decorate.  Jackson helped me find the letters to spell "Happy Birthday MeMe".  Then he got a bit carried away and started unintentionally stabbing the cake with the piping bag.  I was able to rectify the holes, until we ran out of icing.  For whatever reason, he was insistent that the cake have a clown on it.


Here's his finished cake.  As I texted my sisters, nothing says Happy 37th Birthday like a creepy, archaic clown.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Little Librarian

Jackson will probably conduct his own story time when the babies get here.  He is absolutely obsessed with books and letters.  His new thing is singing the "ABC" song multiple times an hour.  Of course he gets the order of the letters jumbled around and he does the classic "LMNOP" as one blurred sound. I am proud that Jackson has such an impressive collection of books at an accessible level in almost every room (living room, his bedroom, babies' room, and the office).  Jackson walks around with a different book in his hand and demands us to "read story" dozens of times per day.  While it is endearing, it's in such excess that I purposely skip pages to try to shorten the story.  Jesse and I both have memorized "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie". 
 
Here are some photos from our weekly library visit:
 


Monday, June 17, 2013

Successful Rainy Monday

If you know us well, you know where to find our family on a summer Monday morning.  I love to take advantage of the free IKEA breakfast, and then let Jackson play in the kids' display rooms.  Unfortunately, I had to drive separately and cut our breakfast date short because I had my weekly OB appointment.  I had been especially nervous about this appointment due to tremendous pressure and increased contractions.  Thankfully, all is still well.  I was told once again that I have a "cervix made of steel". 
 
Since I had an unscheduled ultrasound, my appointment took almost two hours.  Jesse and Jack went grocery shopping.  (I can't tell you how tiring walking around WalMart is!)  We were all ready for some relaxed play (play dough, reading books, and coloring) before settling in for a two hour nap. 
 
While this seems odd to most people, I love going to the park before it rains.  There's never anyone there so it feels like a private park.  Plus, the weather is always cooler with breezes.  After our nap and late lunch, I convinced Jesse to go with us to the park.  I used to take Jackson to the park a lot once I started working half-days in April, but I don't think Jesse had been in a while.  It's so much fun for me to see how much Jackson has grown,  He can climb on all ladders, fearlessly go down any slide, and get on and off most of the equipment by himself. 
 
Here are some of our outtakes:


 
We were able to play for nearly 45 minutes before the rain really started coming down.  Once we got home, Jackson wanted a popsicle.  We sat on the porch and watched the rain wash away our sidewalk chalk drawings and baby birds scavenge for worms.  After the rain subsided Jackson discovered the joy of splashing and jumping in puddles.  Of course, we had to roll his pants up since he's OCD about his clothes getting wet or dirty.  Though the picture doesn't convey his happiness, he was precious! 

 
All in all, it's been a pleasant Monday.  I really want time to slow down so I can soak up every last minute as a family of three.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Busy, Fun Saturday!

Our morning began by Jackson letting us sleep in until 8 o'clock!  This is completely unheard of in our house, so we were all feeling pretty darn good!

We were excited to meet up at a local kid's museum for a very cool birthday party.  On the way there, Jackson kept saying, "Connor birthday!" over and over again.  Here were some of Jackson's favorites from the museum:

Driving with his best friend, Clifford

He would have spent the entire time on the tractor if we let him!

Serving "lunch" to Daddy

Fully dressed fireman in his fire truck
 
After an active morning, Jackson and I settled in for a nap while Jesse began to mow the lawn.  When Jackson and I awoke, Jesse was working on blowing up Jack's pool.  Jackson was initially hesitant to get his Batman swim trunks wet.  He kept holding them up so they wouldn't dare touch the water.
 

Once we finally got him to understand that his shorts were supposed to get wet, Jack was rolling around, blowing bubbles in the water, dumping the water outside of the pool, and drinking the water.  He spent a solid hour happily playing in his pool while Jesse and I alternated soaking our feet in the cold water and going inside to clean/prepare for company.


The only reason Jackson got out of the pool was to see his MiMi and PaPa.  Shortly afterwards Jason, Chrissy, and Levi arrived.  We had a delicious cookout to celebrate Father's Day.  We all ate more than a healthy portion of hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, pound cake, and ice cream.  After dinner Levi and Jack literally ran circles around all of us.  Such busy boys!

 
Jackson, Jesse, and I spent the rest of the evening winding down in bed looking at old pictures and reading stories.  It was the perfect end to a perfect day.