it's positive (again!)

Praising God for our growing family

Our growing family August 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sally Ann @ 5:49 am

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Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

 

June: Summer is here! June 30, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sally Ann @ 3:45 pm

In this month, we saw the end of kindergarten, the end of full-time work for me for now, and the beginning of summer fun!

Abigail Grace

Abigail enjoyed her kindergarten year and is really looking forward to homeschool in the fall. She keeps asking me when we’re starting and has been putting activities aside saying, “This would be fun for homeschool!” I’m pretty stoked too. Not sure how it’ll go with a newborn at home too, but we’re going to take it slow and figure it out little by little.

Reading and writing continue to be this gal’s favorite pastimes in addition to dancing and climbing. She’s definitely a lot more carefree since being out of school, is able to sleep later, and has come more out of her shell. She’s gotten really into board games—especially Monopoly, Jr and Memory. She’s been asking more questions about Jesus and asking him into her heart. We’re answering her questions but letting her lead with making that decision when she’s ready. So exciting!

Madilyn Joy

This girl’s imagination is so vibrant! She loves make believe and taking on the attributes of various characters that she creates. At the breakfast table, she will share all sorts of “dreams” she’s had the night before ranging from dinosaurs and spiders bigger than our house to rollercoasters and ballets. She has very little fear as she’ll kill bugs, will try new things without a lot of concern, and hasn’t had any issue with swimming lessons. She keeps us on our toes for sure.

She’s showing continued interest in reading and is wanting to practice writing. We’re planning to put her in the same preschool this fall with the teachers Abigail had for 4-year preschool, and she’s super excited to get started.

Naomi Hope

She is now 20 months old and feisty. Whew. She is our strong-willed child for sure! She’s a ton of fun and keeps us laughing, but if she’s upset or dissatisfied with something, she’s going to make everyone around her pay for that. We’re working on bending the will without breaking her spirit. Tough to do!

She keeps adding words and has started to combine 2 words here and there. It’s really adorable. We took the side off of her crib and added a shorter safety rail. In a few weeks, we’ll be moving her to the lower bunk where Abigail sleeps now and move Abigail to her own bed. Should be interesting! In other exciting (terrifying) news, Naomi will enter potty training boot camp after returning from granny camp in a couple of weeks. We’re excited to hopefully have her down to diapers during nap/nighttime before Jumper is born. Prayers appreciated!

Jumper

I’m now 35 weeks along, so 5-6 weeks until we meet this new little one. I’ve had two appointments since the last blog post, and everything is looking good—blood pressure is good, Jumper’s heart rate is in the 130s, and I’m measuring right where I should. We’ve bought all our homebirth supplies (SO many!) and had our home visit.

I did, however, have an appointment today which revealed Jumper is in a breech position (head up, feet down). The midwife said that as this is my fourth baby, there’s a lot more room for baby to move around in a stretched out uterus and that this little one may still be somersaulting for another couple of weeks. Despite that, I’ve been scheduled for a consult for a version (manual flipping of baby) in a few weeks as a last resort. In the meantime, I’ll be consulting Spinning Babies (website) for tips on positions I can get in to encourage Jumper to move head down and stay that way! May investigate acupuncture and/or chiropractor too!

From here on out, I’ll be at the midwife every week for follow ups, so we’ll get weekly updates on position. Praying Jumper shifts back down soon and stays there!

Notable events

David continues to have positive interviews, but no offers yet. We’ve started feeling like perhaps he won’t be offered employment until a few months after Jumper is born. It might just make more sense in terms of getting adjusted to being a family of 6 plus homeschooling. David will continue to search and interview, though, until the offer comes!

As a last hurrah before Jumper comes, David and I planned a pseudo last-minute family vacation to Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA for earlier this month. We had a blast! We were gone a Saturday through Wednesday and thoroughly enjoyed all the family time. We stayed in Charleston with the Dobberfuhl’s Saturday and got to let the kiddos roam and play, then it was off to Savannah Sunday-Wednesday. We started off Sunday afternoon at our old apartment complex where we introduced the girls to fiddler crabs in the back marsh. Then we went to Forsyth park for some exercise and came back to our rental house (VRBO.com is the way to go!) for dinner and bed.

On Monday, we set off for Tybee beach at 7:45am and stayed through noon. The girls had an absolute blast, and we nearly had the beach to ourselves. We got to see jellyfish, two horseshoe crabs, dolphins, and an animal which folks out in the water reported was a sea turtle. We didn’t get close enough to confirm, but the girls were stoked. There was also a roped off sea turtle nest on the beach which the girls got to walk around; they had so many questions about the baby turtles inside. After naps, we headed back toward the beach but stopped at The Crab Shack for dinner. The girls tried everything and found out that they liked just about all of it: crayfish, crab legs, shrimp, mussels, and more (everything steamed or boiled). Delish—especially since it was all combined with sausage, corn, and potatoes!

Tuesday, we went back to the beach, but Savannah was under a heat advisory, so we barely made it to 11am before Naomi was close to overheating (even under an umbrella drinking ice water), so we headed back to the house for lunch and naps. After naps, it was off to Vinnie Van Go Go’s for pizza. Let me set the stage: it’s 100F (110F with the heat index), and the restaurant did not have indoor seating that would accommodate 5 people—outside we went. We were under a canopy, but the sun was low enough in the sky that it was beneath the canopy line. Then our 450F pizza fresh out of the oven was placed in front of us. It was literally too hot to touch. Everyone was eating ice chips and having cold water poured on them but still flushed and uncomfortable. Needless to say, we didn’t eat much before boxing up the pizza and going to Leopold’s for ice cream and air conditioning!!

Wednesday, we had a leisurely start and got on the road, stopping in Columbia to see Granny and Papa Schwartz for lunch and some relaxation before making our way back into the COOL mountains Wednesday night.

A couple of days later, David and about 10 other dads went camping with their combined 20+ kids over 3 years old. From the pictures and the stories I’ve heard, it was a great time filled with awesome memories.

For father’s day, the girls brought David breakfast in bed and surprised him with a rafting trip with 9 other guy friends coming up in a couple of weeks. He’s pretty excited about that! After church and naps, we headed out into Mills River to play in the water and soak up some more family time.

The past two weeks have been Vacation Bible School for the girls at Biltmore Baptist’s Arden and Hendersonville campuses. The theme this year was “The Lord’s Army Boot Camp,” and the girls have eaten it up! They love the songs and have learned a tremendous amount. I’m glad the songs are catchy since we’re listening to them on repeat in the car day after day after day. Ha!

 

May–it’s spring time! May 31, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sally Ann @ 9:19 pm

This is our first spring in the new house, and it has been so much fun seeing the place come to life—the trees, flowers, bushes, grass…everything green! Also, the girls have really started getting into exploring the creek in the back yard—never mind that David found a snake by it a few days ago. Haha!

Abigail Grace

So that new-found bravery with the water? Vanished! We are back to terrified of being in a pool without floats. Three swim lessons to go…We really just want her to learn what to do if she were to fall in. Last summer, she had a going-under incident and didn’t problem solve at all, so David jumped in after her, fully clothed. Praying she gets another boost of bravery soon!

She’s been having a really difficult time lately with me being away so much. With all the hours I’m working, I really only see the girls 45 minutes to an hour each day. Unacceptable in my mind, but I don’t know a way around it right now. Abigail’s behavior has been more challenging, and David and I really feel it’s a cry for attention and consistency in our lives. Praying we can give her more of both soon.
All in all, Abigail has had a wonderful kindergarten year. Excited for summer, though, and for the future.

Madilyn Joy

Madilyn has always been the most sensitive of the kiddos—physically. None of the girls do well with processed food in general, but Madilyn is particularly sensitive. We had a box-mix cake for my birthday, and Madilyn promptly threw it all up that night. We really only drink water at our house—milk occasionally. After a soccer game, the snacks provided for the players included a Hawaiian punch. Before I even thought about it, Madilyn had finished the bottle. Later that day? She broke out in hives all over with diarrhea to boot. If that doesn’t turn us off from artificial food colorings/preservatives, etc, not sure what will!

Speaking of soccer, Madilyn is having a ton of fun playing soccer under David’s coaching. Her team, the Wolves, seem to enjoy their time together, and the emphasis truly is on having fun—not winning/losing. Most of her games have been at 9am which has been super nice—beat the heat!

Madilyn continues to be outgoing and hilarious. She rarely meets a stranger and remembers all kinds of details about time spent with others. She loves to talk about her “buddies,” and introduces all of us to said buddies whenever she gets the chance. Adorable.

Naomi Hope

Whew. Strong-willed child, eh? Yeah, we’ve got one of those. Yikes! This girl is an enigma in our house—throwing toys, hitting, being blatantly defiant…all on a daily basis. Got our hands full, it appears. Working on discipline with her and trying to be as consistent as possible.

Had her 18-month check up. All is well! 25lb 2oz (down a bit from the 15 month one), 31 or 32″…can’t remember, with a 19.25″ head. Growing up so fast! She’s adding more and more words—“no!” being one of them. Heh.

She’s been a mama’s girl lately. I’ve enjoyed it, but it does get a little exhausting to both me and David after a while. Read: fits of rage if mama isn’t in constant contact with her.

We went back to covering her thumbs at night, then went to the dentist where we were told to stop worrying about it until she’s a little older. Not sure I agree, but it’s a whole heck of a lot easier to just let it go for now. Will revisit later!

Potty training will start soon as she’s starting to consistently report when she’s pooped or when she needs a clean diaper. Both Abigail and Madilyn started around 19/20 months, so we’ll kick things off with her later in June. Would love to have her relatively day-trained before baby. Would be SO nice!

“Jumper”

I’m now 31 weeks pregnant and cannot believe in 9-10ish weeks, we’ll be a family of 6. Wow! Jumper is growing big and strong: at my 28-week appointment, I was measuring right at 27 weeks, and heart rate was 136bpm. He/she loves when I drink ice water or eat chocolate (or maybe hates it…not sure, but doing either makes for crazy baby movement)! In an odd turn of events, I failed the 1-hour glucose test twice! Ugh. I passed the 3-hour one, though. Praise God for that! Had I failed, home birth would not have been an option. Glad it’s still on the table. Oh, and Jumper is head down, ready to go!

With every pregnancy I am amazed by the comments folks make. I’m pretty numb to the majority of it having heard it for three other pregnancies, but I’ve got to give a PSA: never comment on a pregnant woman’s size. Ever. It’s never ok. Ever. Ever. Ever. I had a full 2 additional paragraphs that I deleted. Heh. Never type when you’re agitated! Anyway, you get the gist. “You look wonderful” is always appropriate!

Notable Events

May was a busy month filled with:
—my 31st birthday where we stayed home from church and had a family night
—mother’s day
—David’s continued job search
—the big girls’ dance recital
—VitalStim conference for me in Charlotte: checked out IKEA for the first time, and David got to have a solo weekend thanks to my parents keeping the girls in Greenville for a couple of days.
—Homeschool conference in Winston-Salem=girls weekend plus lots of learning about the ins and outs of homeschooling
—Our family’s first experience with the stomach bug. Abigail got it first, then David. I had something a week later, but am not sure if it was that or food poisoning. Regardless, no.fun.at.all.
—strawberry picking
—date night out to Strada (Italian restaurant in Asheville) plus a screening of “The Long Start to the Journey”—a documentary made by a local film maker documenting his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Incredible! And David won a raffle prize before the screening to boot: ziplining for 2 in the Nantahala Outdoor Center! It’s our second ziplining gift certificate. Gotta keep hanging on to them til I’m able to participate too! Ha!

Until next month, enjoy some photos:

 

April—Grandparent time and loads of rain April 30, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sally Ann @ 9:22 pm

“April showers…” certainly held true this month. Whew! Glad to be in the “May flowers” part!

Abigail Grace
As she grows, she continues to get braver. She’s been doing things that, for her, are incredibly risky: standing on swings while swinging, riding her bike down hills, swimming lessons. So proud that she’s beginning to overcome her fears. As a typical first child, she is incredibly concerned about branching out at the risk of not being perfect the first go around. We’re working on that with her. She continues to love her ballet lessons and reading, reading, reading. Constantly reading—and writing, for that matter! This gal is a reading/writing fanatic. She was SO excited to tell us that the book fair was coming to her school: “There are SO many books!! Which ones do you think I should get?”

Madilyn Joy
This gal has very few fears, it seems. She loves her swimming lessons and has cried when they end. She is a speed demon on her balance bike (nearly time for a bike with training wheels to learn some pedaling) and has no fear of hills. She enjoys climbing to the highest point she can at a playground and hasn’t met a slide she wouldn’t try. She wants to read so badly and has all but begged David and I to teach her. We will soon–probably once summer is here. Madilyn is also big into board games and loves when David, Abigail, and I join her in a family game. It doesn’t take her long to master the rules of a new game, and we’re constantly impressed with her ability to participate in games a bit above her age range. Puzzles are also a favorite right now—100 pieces is the highest we’ve let her try. Need to buy a few high piece level ones! Madilyn started soccer this month too—with David as her coach! She’s really committed to the game and has been learning the rules from David. All this activity has made Madilyn get significantly stronger and increase her endurance. So nice!

Naomi Hope
We had such high hopes for eliminating the thumb sucking. She was a left-handed thumb sucker, so we covered the left hand. Then she discovered she could suck her right thumb. So we tried to cover both. That was a disaster in the sleep-department. So we consented for the time being until we figure out another plan. She’s probably teething again because her fingers—and sometimes most of her fist—are ever present in her mouth. She’s holding strong with 12 teeth, and we’re just waiting for those incisors and/or molars to pop through and round out her toddler smile. She has become quite a mama’s girl and will start exclaiming “Mama! Mama! Mama!” whenever she hears my voice on the phone or when I walk through the door and start talking. It’s adorable. She’s added a few more words this month—all with the same starting sounds she’s already mastered: d, t, b, m. It’s so cool to see her grow and learn about the language in the world around her. Her utensil usage has gotten a lot better, though we still help her some portion of every meal. She’s obsessed with food like her older sisters and will fall apart if it’s near a mealtime but we’re not eating the moment she thinks we should. Ha!

“Jumper”
Had our first appointment with the midwives for our home birth, and all went well. Unfortunately this month I had incredibly intense sciatica pain and pelvic separation pain. It got so bad, actually, that there were numerous instances during my work day when I just couldn’t take another step secondary to the pain. Thankfully, “jumper” has shifted his/her position, and that pain has subsided. “Jumper’s” heart rate was in the 130s/140s, and he/she was all over the place during the midwife’s attempt at listening to the heart rate longer. I am measuring right on track, and have enjoyed the onset of fetal hiccups, frequent movement—even getting to watch some of the movement, and have had fun letting the girls feel for the baby. So sweet.

Notable Events
I’m sleepy while I’m typing this, so a list will have to suffice: April fool’s day, Easter (girls were sick, but we had an egg hunt around the house that was fun), David planned a men’s camping trip, I started PRN shifts at two other buildings in an effort to save up for “Jumper,” David’s parents came to town, James had a birthday party, we dedicated Naomi at church with my parents in the audience, and David has had several job interviews with local companies; praying progress continues!

 

March 2015—in like a lion? Nah, pretty tame. March 31, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sally Ann @ 10:08 pm

We definitely had weather ups and downs in March, but for the most part, it’s been nice. And we’ve been HEALTHY all month long. I’m writing this blog a couple of days into April–and one day after Naomi stayed at the YMCA’s childcare for 1 hour. She’s been up hacking over and over tonight. Surgical masks at the ready!

Abigail Grace
Not a whole lot to report aside from her growing love for her sisters and fascination with the growing baby in my tummy. She has felt the baby kick, and it thrills her to no end! Recently, she’s gotten into picking Naomi up and giving her hugs. Also, she’s showing a lot more empathy toward Madilyn—a welcomed improvement! Ballet is still her thing, and she loves practicing her recital piece.

She misses me so much when I’m at work, and she tells me as much. One day early in March, I was able to get off of work early. I decided to surprise her at school for lunch, not sure how she’d react. I knew she’d be happy, but you never know exactly how Abigail will respond to a surprise. When her class came walking down the hall and she saw me, she exclaimed under her breath, “Mommy!!” and as I walked toward her to give her a hug, she broke down and cried. “I am so happy you came to see me at school…can you stay for a long time?” heart.ripped.out.

Madilyn Joy
I feel like I type this every month, but she is truly the sweetest little kiddo. She will ask to snuggle nearly anytime I’m sitting down, will go along with most every idea Abigail throws out there for something to do, offers to help David and I throughout the day, and beams like the sun when she gets to be the helper at preschool. She loves to wake Naomi up in the morning (as does Abigail)—and by “wake Naomi up” I mean “walk into the room where Naomi is squawking and say ‘Good morning!'”

She is dropping her nap little bit little and will skip a nap every few days. Recently, David has been taking time with Madilyn on skipped nap days to teach her soccer. Her practices through Upward Sports start mid-April, and soccer is sort of David’s thing. Madilyn has LOVED the one-on-one time and has picked up the basics really quickly.

Madilyn also lets me know how hard it is to not see me all day, so on the day I surprised Abigail, I surprised Madilyn first. She had a much different reaction—positive still, thankfully! She stood up in class when I got there to pick her up and said proudly, “Everyone, my mommy came to pick me up today! Hi Mommy!” Big hugs and kisses followed.

Naomi Hope
This big girl is 16 months old and changing and developing so much with each new month. We have started to train her on utensils, and so far, she’s rocking it out with her fork; the spoon is a little more difficult, though the items we’ve given her to scoop are thin and not really ideal. Fail.

We are also beginning the process of breaking the thumb-sucking habit. She only sucks it when she’s sleeping, but hearing horror stories from other parents about how long that habit can hang around, we decided to try and nip it now. Just like we did with Abigail (who only sucked her thumb for a month), we put a sock over Naomi’s hand at naptime and tape it in place. It only took one day before she understood and would start holding her hand up for us to put a sock on at nap and bedtime. Heh.

Other new changes: first pig tails, climbing all over–including walking up our ridiculously steep driveway, is smiling on command—though it’s a bit crooked and growly (haha!), and she understands so much of what we’re saying. New words this month: ba for ball, muh for milk, a true “mama” when referencing me (hurray!!). She has all her teeth except 8—missing the incisors and 2-year molars, though she appears to be working on some now.

Baby 4
We had our ultrasound, and though I looked up once when the technician was in the vicinity, I didn’t look hard enough to see anything. Looked right away! Baby looked good and healthy—measuring at 9oz. My mom came with David and all three girls It sounded like a beautiful experience in my head, but the execution of it was much different. The baby is just as active as its big sisters, and both Abigail and Madilyn have felt the baby kick.

Per David’s suggestion, “jumper” will be the nickname for baby 4. Twist, Kick, and Flip have a fitting little sibling!

Notable events
March meant a couple of pretty cool things: the END of my Clinical Fellowship Year—paperwork has been submitted, and I’m waiting on final confirmation that I’m a fully licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologist; the beginning of covering a maternity leave for another SLP which means increased hours; the beginning of PRN (as needed) work at two other facilities in the area to start saving money for Jumper; additional editing jobs—also to save money, and David’s job search kicking into super high gear. Oh, and then there’s this other little thing: my little brother got MARRIED! Welcome to the family, Chelsey! The big girls were in the wedding, and I was a bridesmaid and played accompaniment for a singer. We had loads of fun, and the girls really dance the night away. Precious memories.

 

February: under a sick cloud February 28, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sally Ann @ 12:00 pm

There were some very bright spots in the midst of constant sickness (basically a non-ending cycle of colds). We finally tossed all the medicine, and all 5 of us ate huge salads and veggie filled smoothies every single day for 2 weeks; we’re all healthy now! “Let food be thy medicine” -Hippocrates

Abigail Grace
No significant news to report. She’s still doing great in kindergarten and loving reading and art. I think it’s just a part of being in a large classroom setting, but she’s been invited to a bunch of bday parties. It’s been sort of refreshing to see her decide not to go to several of them because she’s not that close as compared with when a church friend (most of whom are really close) asks, and Abigail gets stoked and can’t wait to buy a present, etc. She’s got a better grip on friendships now, it seems. Also, she cannot wait to be in Greg and Chelsey’s wedding next month as a flower girl and LOVES ballet—recital in May.

Madilyn Joy
She turned 4 in February, and is looking more and more grown every month. As a special birthday treat, my parents took Madilyn to Greenville with them by herself for an “Adventure with Grandma and Granddaddy” for a whole day. She soaked up the attention and was bursting with stories about her experiences when she got back. She also had her 4-year old check up: 39″ tall (3ft, 3inches), 40lbs, and her eyes and ears were within typical range. Her weight was a little high however (Abigail was the same height at 4, but 7 lbs lighter), and has been since she was 2. We kept thinking she’d grow out of it because honestly, we eat a pretty clean, plant-based diet. However, when we discussed portion size with her pediatrician, he confirmed we were giving her too much—even though it was all healthy. Too much of a good thing. I’m writing this blog over a week into March (more than 3 weeks since scaling portion sizes), and we’ve seen a remarkable shift in Madilyn’s physical appearance and ability. So glad it appears to be an easy fix!

Naomi Hope
She is now 15-months old, and at her check-up, she was 26lbs 14 oz, 31″ long, with a 19.25″ head. Like Madilyn, the weight was high (2+ lbs heavier than both older sisters at the same age and same length). Scaled back portions for her, and noticed a difference very quickly. Whew! She’s super protective of me and won’t let David even hold my hand without losing her mind and trying to take our hands apart. Haha! She’s going from sitting to standing without holding on, doing more fine-motor tasks (e.g. “playing” the peg game at Cracker Barrel), adding final consonants to some words (e.g. duck is no longer “duh!”, it’s “dut!”), dancing lots, trying to interact more with her sisters in play, loves baby dolls (will carry them around, patting their backs or feed them a bottle), loves animals, and gets legitimately tickled over the silliest things. She’s loud and independent and has entered her first real defiance phase. Whew. We’re working to nip that in the bud as best we can. She is a joy, though!

Baby 4
Had an appointment for this little one on the 11th: heart rate at 147bpm, measuring on track, and discussed home birth with the midwife there who used to perform home births (and had both her kids at home). Just shy of 18 weeks pregnant and started feeling the baby kick last week. Hoping David will be able to feel it before to long. Such a neat feeling! Ultrasound scheduled for March 3. Haven’t given much time to name discussion as of yet; still have our boy name, of course, but need to come up with a girl option just in case! Suggestions for a nickname for this one? We’ve used Flip, Twist, and Kick for the others :)

Notable events
A list for reference: Madilyn’s 4th birthday party with 4 friends (Maggie, Laila, Josephine, and Tyler); Wee-Trade—did great and spent less than $300 for summer clothes and games for all three girls), Greg and Chelsey’s wedding shower in Greenville—(I helped host); David’s and my 8th wedding anniversary—the second anniversary we’ve spent during a pregnancy; a huge ice storm—ice that fell on top of fallen snow; snow storm with sledding and snow angels; a ladies’ night in at our place filled with making chocolate strawberries and talking about just about anything we could think of—so much fun…I truly cherish the lasting friendships I’ve made here in Asheville.

 

It’s Positive again! January 31, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sally Ann @ 3:51 pm

It’s official; the final installment in the Mertens family will be arriving in August. Check the post below for my play by play prior to telling anyone.

Abigail Grace
The most noticeable change in Abigail over the past month (and really over the course of the past 2-3 months) has been the speed at which her pant legs have shrunk. They were all incredibly long at the beginning of the winter (having to roll them up twice), and now, she can nearly wear them without rolling them up at all. Growth spurt! She’s doing really well academically, and we’re continually amazed and the sheer amount of assessments/testing she has to endure—most of them timed and stressful. Come on, public schools, she’s only 5. She’s still enjoying kindergarten but is so wiped out at the end of the day and asks if she can just stay home for a few days. When she was sick recently and got to miss a day from school, she took 3 long naps during the day and was a totally different kid–upbeat and obedient. I agree with what a friend of mine said, “We give away our kids’ best time to the school, and we get the leftovers.” It’s so true. Working to rectify that.

Madilyn Joy
She’s nearly 4 years old and a bundle of joy and happiness most days. She wants to learn to read, and I’m debating initiating that training mid spring. She’s gotten quite adept at coloring inside the lines and loves to put on shows for her sisters and me and David that involve costumes and tap dancing and singing. No stage fright for this one. She has been a bit more whiny lately, but she’s also complained of hip and leg pain (growing pains!). She’s definitely growing out of her clothes and is comfortably in 4T items. Debating getting her 5T stuff at Wee-Trade in a few weeks at the rate she’s shooting up!

Naomi Hope
In the past month, Naomi’s walking has taken off, and she now gets around really well. She’s starting to climb more and more and has nearly figure out how to bump down the stairs on her belly (feet first). She’s gotten a few more words added to her vocabulary—yes (and will nod her head), head shake for “no,” mama (FINALLY!), Aba (for Abigail), woo woo (for woof)—so cute! Her receptive language ability is skyrocketing, though. She’s able to follow lots of simple commands and is pretty effective at expressing her message even if the words aren’t there yet. She’s still a great eater and is starting to learn the use of a fork and spoon on a very limited/controlled basis.

Baby 4
No nickname for this one yet. We got to hear the baby’s heartbeat in mid January–159bpm, and I got to say “au revoir” to “morning” sickness. I started feeling much better by the end of the month! Our big ultrasound is March 3, and we don’t plan to find out the gender, instead allowing David to participate in delivery and announce the gender at birth like he did with Naomi. We’ve also started setting money aside for the wee one’s birth because–hello!–my insurance and ultimate maternity benefits are abysmal. This baby will be 100% out of pocket. Praising God for his provision, though, because I was recently asked to take on an extra 10-15 hours a week to cover for another SLP’s maternity leave, and I’m heating up the freelance editing channels again too to boost income. Only got 5-6 months to save nearly $5,000. Eep!

Notable events
The beginning of this month marked the start of a new year and the end of Christmas break. It was really hard sending Abigail back to school. At least she got to go to her first bowling party before school started back. Fun times! We took a grand total of 6 pictures in the month of January. I had taken the month off from Facebook, and it was incredible to just enjoy family without feeling like I needed to snap 100 pictures in order to commemorate every moment. We did have a busy month with AWANA, mommy/daughter exercise (M/Th/F, Abigail and Madilyn and I do workout DVDs downstairs—so fun!), Hands On museum fun, David’s job search kicking into high gear, me working full time at Deerfield, girls’ night out with connect group gals, and more! You’ll just have to use your imagination :)

 

It’s positive x4—a brief diary January 26, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sally Ann @ 4:44 pm

(Below is a brief log of my thoughts and experiences before we shared our news with the world!)

11/30–I’m a week late; haven’t told David yet. This would mean we got pregnant on his birthday just like we did with Abigail–this due date would be August 3rd, 2015!

12/7–two weeks late and told David. He’s in shock like me. Didn’t we just have Naomi?

12/10–took a test this morning, POSITIVE! Family of 6, here we come! Oh, and feeling rather horrible. Nausea starts within 30 minutes of waking up and fades for 30-45 minutes after eating only to come back again. Hoping this only lasts to the 12-week mark

12/15–made an appointment at MAHEC for January 14–at the 11.5 week mark. After the appointment, we’ll start telling folks. Seems like with each baby, my body gets into gear quicker. I swear my hips have already widened because my stomach is the same but my pants are tight in the hips. Eep! Sending ESP signals to my recently pregnant friends to hang on to their maternity stuff!!

12/25–Merry Christmas! Went to Greenville to see my parents and grandparents. No odd looks or questions (whew!) but had a hard time stomaching the huge meal. It was delicious, but I got full way too fast.

1/14–had our first OB appointment, 11.5 weeks. Heard a strong heartbeat of 159 beats per minute! I’m measuring right where I’m supposed to be for 11 weeks. Another appointment February 11, then anatomy ultrasound early/mid March! Told prayer group, and the ladies were dually amused and surprised. They knew we were on the fence about a 4th baby and had joked that they were just counting the days until I showed up pregnant. Ha! Also told my boss who reacted really well. Had lunch with a grad school friend, Elizabeth, after the appointment (she’s due Feb 7 with her first), and it was fun to swap pregnancy stories. We plan to tell parents this weekend.

1/15–Planning to tell the big girls tonight. Hope they’re excited! UPDATE: they were thrilled and started talking to the baby right away and asking how big it is. They both keep toggling between whether it’s a boy or a girl.

1/16–looked into my insurance and maternity benefits—horrible. This baby will be out of pocket. Considering a home birth because it’d be 50% less than a hospital birth. And considering Naomi arrived in 2.5 hours from first contraction to delivery, it might be the best option.

1/18–have told both sets of parents, grandparents, and brothers, and they were all equally shocked and excited. So nice to have the cat out of the bag! Ready to tell the world, now!

 

 
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