Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Week 20 | Halfway there!

Surprise! T & I are sooooo excited to finally announce that baby three will be joining our growing family this spring! We can't wait to meet our newest little one, and are so thankful that God has blessed us with the chance to add to our little family. The boys are currently living in a state of happy oblivion, and have yet to realize the implications of mommy's growing tummy (we did tell them, but they have no grasp of the life changing event about to happen to their lives), but no doubt they will soon be loving on their new sibling with sloppy kisses, bear hugs, and hopefully, hearts overflowing with nothing but love.

How far along:
20 weeks

Best moments so far:
Hearing the heartbeat, sharing with family and friends, passing the quad screen with no abnormalities, finally getting a glimpse of our newest little one at our fetal survey ultrasound, and learning that baby is healthy and measuring right where we should be for this stage of the game. Each of these moments were equally exciting, and we (mostly me) are so thrilled relieved that everything has checked out OK. My number one I'm sure is true with many expectant a healthy baby.

A little backstory: I didn't feel the best through the entire first trimester - nothing crazy, just the same general queasiness and lack of appetite I had with my previous pregnancies - then went straight into stomach flu for a week (the worst!), then caught a terrible cold that lasted approximately three weeks (which I couldn't take anything for because...pregnancy...a.k.a. pretty much all cold medicines...and other medicines for that matter...are considered unsafe). I haven't felt hardly any movement (more on this in a minute), and as of my most recent OB checkup around 17 weeks, had only gained one pound when the average woman will gain 10lbs by week 20. All of these things put together had me feeling, well, on edge, and in need of some reassurance.

 While my doctor wasn't exactly thrilled about my weight gain, or lack thereof, ultimately, we chalked it up to being sick, and are hoping to see a little more change by my next appointment. My appetite has been better this last week or so, so we'll see how my next checkup goes as far as weight is concerned. This being said, baby is measuring right where we need to be, and according to our ultrasound, weighed in at 9oz at 18.5weeks, which is around the 48% for gestational age. As far as the lack of movement I've been feeling - with G, I felt movement around 15-16weeks, so I was expecting the same or similar this time around since this is baby #3. Thru 20 weeks, I have felt the baby move maybe only a handful of times. My ultrasound helped to clear my mind some after we learned that baby's placenta is attached anteriorly, a.k.a. located on the front of my uterus, making any kicking more difficult to feel as the movement has to be strong enough to reach through the placenta for me to be able to feel anything. This is not because baby isn't moving, however. It was very clear at our ultrasound that there are lots of movements, regardless of how much I have been feeling. Hopefully, as baby continues to grow bigger and stronger, I will be able to feel some more consistent movement to keep my mind at ease. Another concern that popped up at my ultrasound is the possibility of a low-lying placenta, or marginal placenta previa (a.k.a. when the placenta lies within 2 centimeters of the birth canal). Because of this observation, I will go back for a second ultrasound at 28 weeks, and be rechecked to see if this potential complication has corrected itself as baby grows, or if it is something that will need to be monitored for the remainder of my pregnancy. Sooooo...that should just about catch you up to speed with where everything stands! I would appreciate any prayers for a healthy pregnancy!

Maternity clothes:
A few. I've had to transition about half of my bottoms to maternity. As this is my third pregnancy, my belly 'popped', so to speak, around 10 weeks. All of my 'workout' style dry-fit tops have been collecting dust since around then, but I'm still able to wear the majority of my other tops. I suppose that would be a benefit of a winter pregnancy and current fashion trends of loose and flowy! Long tunics, leggings, camis, and cardigans all the way!

Pretty normal. During the first trimester, I had to get up and use the restroom more often than normal, but now that my uterus has shifted to not lie directly on top of my bladder, this annoying symptom has essentially gone away. 

Miss Anything:
Nothing in particular.

Baby Movement:
See above. 

Cravings & Aversions:
Sweets...cake...particularly of the chocolate variety. I'm not sure if this is something new, as I've always had a pretty good sweet tooth. During my first trimester, I also had an orange juice craving. This has since subsided, so I'll be interested to see if any other particular food cravings appear. If I had to state an aversion, I would say probably Mexican food. This may be a product of T begging to have Mexican for dinner the night I came down with the stomach flu, but nevertheless, Taco Tuesday was put on hold for a few weeks at our house!

Queasy or sick:
Nothing out of control as far as morning sickness goes. I did feel queasy for most of the first trimester starting around 7-8 weeks thru maybe 16 weeks or so after I finally got over the stomach flu and terrible cold that my boys were so happy to share with me. I have a hunch that the weakened immune system that comes along with being pregnant will come to haunt me as we head into these winter months.

My symptoms thus far have been pretty typical. General queasiness during the first trimester, breakouts from pregnancy hormones, and fatigue.

Looking forward to:
My next OB appointment, and hopefully learning that baby is continuing to grow at the expected rate, and maybe that I've even managed to gain a few pounds!

Some pictures from our ultrasound:

Happy Halloween 2017!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

This year's Halloween was such fun! C is now old enough to really get into the spirit, and LOVED all of the celebrations he had throughout the week. Parties, trick-or-treating, and Halloween cookie decorating were the favorites! I probably asked him about 100 times what he would like to 'be' for Halloween leading up to the big day, and he had no consistent response until the week before. I have a hunch we can thank 'career day' at his school for this! After going back and forth between superman, firefighter, and policeman, he finally landed on dressing as a policeman as his top choice for this year's celebration. Lucky for him, this mama is an Amazon Prime member, and had the perfect costume in my cart just in case.

We kicked off the holiday week with our annual tradition of carving a Jack-O-Lantern with Gma & Gpa N. C has had so much fun with this in the past few years, and G was ALL about it this year now that he is more mobile and able to lend his 'help'. C's main request was that we make a 'happy' Jack, and I've got to say that I'm pretty impressed with how it turned out!

On the trick-or-treating front, the boys had no real experience going into Halloween, aside from limited trick-or-treating with Grandparents last year, and they were at best, curious. After getting all dressed up in their costume, they decided this was kind of fun, and they could really get into the whole Halloween thing! The police whistles on their costumes were of particular fascination for G, who figured his out right away (and thoroughly annoyed T & I while driving to and from Halloween happenings all the while listening to him whistling), while C loved the pretend walkie talkie, police sunglasses, and hat that were part of his costume.

We broke into the Halloween trick-or-treat festivities with a special kids party that a local event center hosted the weekend before the holiday. It was the perfect amount of 'trick-or-treating' for little people with little focus on actual candy, and lots of focus on fun hands-on Halloween games (think pumpkin bowling, walk the plank, ring toss, pin the spider on the web, etc), and after about 30 minutes of playing games and admiring other kid's costumes, C let us know he was ready to go. At C's school on Halloween day, one his teachers brought pumpkin shaped sugar cookies to decorate, and he had a ton of fun decorating them with frosting and sprinkles. Judging by the overall shape of his costume, and the orange frosting all over his face when I picked him up, I think it's fair to say that he likely ate more of the cookies than he did decorating!

To round out the spooky holiday, we went trunk-or-treating at Gpa & Gma W's church. Halloween night ended up being super cold, so most of the event was held inside, and it was the perfect amount of festiveness for our little people. T, heading into the event was super disappointed to not be going door-to-door for a 'true' trick-or-treat adventure, but by the end of the event, was more on board with the decision as he realized it was just the right amount of fun for our boys. Happy Halloween!

Apple Fest

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Another fun fall tradition we've done the past couple years is attend Apple Fest at Community Orchards in Fort Dodge. I remember going on visits to the apple orchard when I was growing up, and I think it's so fun to be able to share this piece of my childhood with the boys. That being said, it has become a much bigger production, and MUCH more kid-oriented than 'way back when', and it is so much fun to see how much the boys enjoy our visits. The biggest draw by far is the 'Back 40 Playground'. Corn boxes, slides, pedal tractor racetracks, a goat playground, wood playground train, duck races, tractor pulled choo-choo, and a giant bouncy 'pillow' are just a few of the attractions that bring in the crowds of kiddos. Aside from the super fun kid activities in the Back 40, there is also a corn maze, scarecrow contest, pumpkins, and of course apples. Lots and lots of apples. Upon discovery of this small wonder, and a taste test of a few varieties, G was perfectly content to sit and eat and entire apple to himself...right down to the core!

C was a bit nervous of this giant bouncy pillow, but G couldn't get on it fast enough. It was quite comical watching T try to keep up with our little speed crawler as he went from one end to the other!

Yum yum yum!

After our visit to the Apple Orchard, we stopped by the football field on the unseasonably warm fall afternoon, and C had SO. MUCH. FUN. playing football with cousin J. These two have such a blast together, and are always having a good time!

University of Iowa Homecoming 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

For the past several years, we have made it our family tradition to travel to Iowa City for The University of Iowa homecoming weekend with our littles in tow. After much planning and preparation, we nearly cancelled this year's trip when the forecast predicted 90% chance of rain during tailgating and game time, but ultimately, we decided to take a chance, and drove through monsoon style rains to get the five hours to Iowa City from our home on the opposite side of the state.

Because of the rainy weather, we ended up skipping the Homecoming parade on Friday night (sad), and got to town with pretty much only enough time to grab some takeout, stretch our legs a bit, and get everybody situated for bed. Anticipating our shared sleeping quarters, we had all the gear with us, including our Pack'N'Play and this toddler travel cot that C thought was pretty much the coolest thing ever. Aside from a late bedtime, the boys did well with their sleepover at Uncle B & Aunt C's place, and we were all excited Saturday morning to see that the potential downpours the weatherman had predicted had turned into more of a light drizzle, and wouldn't stop us from our much anticipated date at Kinnick Stadium to cheer for the Iowa Hawkeyes. On the way to our tailgate spot, I'm not sure who was more excited, T or C!

Before heading into the game, we weren't entirely sure what to expect with G. He is a much different kid than his brother was at the same age, and is typically go. Go. GO!, so I honestly wasn't expecting to be able to stay for more than about five minutes of the game. To everyone's great surprise, G LOVED the game! He enjoyed watching the players, clapping for big plays, and even threw up a 'W' or two when the Hawks scored a touchdown. During the second half, I had the foresight to hit the concession stand and load up on snacks, and both C & G spent the majority of the final two quarters plowing through a giant bucket of popcorn. 

Back at the tailgate after the game, C was SO EXCITED about watching the football players in a real game, that he was 100% bursting with a need to play football with just about anyone who would catch a pass or practice running plays with him in the grassy lawn next to our tailgate spot. He is a football fan for life I have no doubt!


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